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But is it hot? Design challenges for sex in games
But is it hot? Design challenges for sex in games Exclusive
April 14, 2014 | By Leigh Alexander




Sex is such a crucial part of the human experience, but few mainstream games have successfully addressed it. A panel at Different Games convened designers working on expressing intimacy, sexuality and diversity in games to talk about ways to confront common design challenges, subvert expectations and evolve the role sex plays in games.

Independent designer Merritt Kopas recently attended a feminist porn convention, and came back full of ideas about games. She's learned that using games to teach alternative sexuality can be incredibly subversive -- but can they be hot?

"We've seen this huge boom of accessible game creation tools, and obviously for me, and for a lot of people Twine is the most important of those, because it's so radically accessible," Kopas says, "writing is a far more accessible skill than coding."

"The really interesting thing about putting accessible tools into people's hands is it turns out a lot of the things they make are about fucking," Kopas points out. These games can deal with unusual fantasies, speculative fiction, kink, trans sexuality and other themes mainstream games haven't touched.

"I see a really valuable role for games in talking about sex," she says, suggesting people approach games with lowered defenses and are more open to ideas they encounter in an interactive context.

Kopas' Twine game Positive Space is about a sex act called muffing ("if anyone asks what you learned this weekend at Different Games, you can say 'I learned a new sex act'"). It involves penetrating the inguinal canals, and Kopas decided making a game about it might be a way to teach others about something they might not be familiar with. Positive Space interweaves personal narrative with excerpts from a zine that defined the term.

And even though commenters on blogs and Twitter were initially confused by the concept, they were curious enough to try the game -- and learned things about their bodies. "Because it was in the form of a game, they accessed it," she says. Even cis men who would have never been exposed to a zine about trans women's sexuality had the opportunity to experience something new in this way.


"The really interesting thing about putting accessible tools into people's hands is it turns out a lot of the things they make are about fucking."
She was happy to see such a wide range of people interested in engaging with a game about a consensual kink relationship. In fact, Kopas says, "The level of engagement from games writers was actually way more honest than a lot of feminist blogs. I think there's a lot of potential for games in expanding people's imaginations."

The challenge is that while it may now be easy to make games about sex: "It's hard to make a game that's hot," she says.

Part of this, she believes, is down to the fact ideas about games are bound up in the concepts of winning, achieving and completing. "Interestingly, those ideas are really in parallel with dominant ideas about sexuality: It follows a predictable script, the goal is orgasm, it ends at that point and you move on," she says. "Those are both really boring ways of thinking about play, and when we talk about sex in games, we're talking about play. So the challenge there is to get around that mechanistic approach."

"This is the 'shady flash portal' approach -- y'know, click the mouse repeatedly, and then oh, you came, you won," she says. Then there's the 'BioWare School of Sexuality,' where you romance a partner and then you get to have sex with them at the climax of the game. But at that point, the player is only watching; the player puts the controller down.

"It seems like a cop-out to step away at that point," she says. "And I see why they do it: Because it's hard."

Text can be a powerful alternative approach to sex in games, she says. Text circumvents some of the problems with body physics or uncanny valley in games, where characters generally aren't designed for fluid, natural physicality when they collide. Sometimes you can do more without implementing a bodied character: Tale of Tales' Luxuria Superbia sends players careening down a tunnel and touching it, and asks them to pleasure a mobile device through touch. "It's a game about sex that doesn't have hyperrealistic images of bodies," she says.

Kopas' explicit goal is to be public with her work, and to bring sexuality into the public sphere by fostering dialogue. "Could we piggyback on Foursquare to gamify public sex?" She poses. The 'what you do in your own home is private' thing has long been a defensive strategy to hide a diversity of sexuality from public view, but publicity is important, she says.

In both sex and games, mainstream industries have "domesticated and commoditized play," she reflects. "In both cases, those are huge structures that have tried to package play into a form they can control and market. There is a feminist porn awards; there are people making films that model explicit consent and include a wide range of bodies, and are really weird and amazing, and there are people doing that in games. I think there's room for some really interesting work across those fields. If we want to talk about how we can make games that are hot, that are about sex but engage people politically and communally, there's room for some fertile collaboration there."

During college, longtime game developer Naomi Clark was influenced by zines and comic books, particularly Ariel Schrag's personal stories. The last one she found was 11 years ago in 2003, called "Sinful Cynthia," a choose-your-own adventure comic that, as a game designer, excited Clark especially.

sex 1.jpgShe and Ariel began porting the zine to Twine -- a "pornographic romp [that's] queer, but in a polymorphic and omnisexual way," she describes. "What if we were all characters who starred in a super-skeevy porn adventure? It's a story where you turn to a certain page and see a hunky guy called Rod Manly coming down the street, and you can choose to have sex with him immediately on the street, but if you do, then a car decapitates him."

"I'm a little apprehensive of what this artifact from years ago means if I put it on the internet," she says. "But I think there's an interesting risk, that someone could read this randomly on the internet... one of the side benefits of the fact we're now talking about all sorts of experiences as being games is that retroactively, this choose-your-own-adventure zine becomes a game. It was important to me, so I'm porting it."

Her game Sex-Mix is a non-digital game "designed to be played while you're having sex, and designed to make the sex you're having more difficult and probably worse". Players are "eliminated" if they laugh at songs their partners have planned for, make a grossed-out face, or disengage from sex completely. "People have won it and claimed to enjoy it," she says. "In a way I see it as a sort of anti-social act on my part."

To her, it was a commentary provoked by overflowing sex positivity in queer communities at the turn of the millennium that didn't extend to every body or every sex practice. "But the game still seems to be fun, and two of my earliest playtesters went on to get gay married to each other," she says.

In college her sister worked at the neighborhood video store, and the pair immediately pounced on anime imports. One of these turned out to be Urotsukidoji: Legend of the Overfiend, one of the earliest films to popularly combine tentacles and sex. Yet Clark, who has a Japanese heritage, became sick of hearing people endlessly associate "tentacle rape" with some inherent part of Japanese culture. The controversial, ultimately failed Tentacle Bento Kickstarter was "pretty transparently encouraging players to take on the role of rapists," she says. Kickstarter fortunately canceled the game amid some outcry ("it got horrifyingly over-funded, to no one's surprise").

But Clark wondered if the subject matter could be handled differently. Why did people with tentacles or alternative genitals have to be consigned to the role of nonconsensual monsters? "What if we had to rediscover practices of consent in the context of sex with radically different beings?" Clark poses. "We can talk about consent techniques via language, but I want something harder -- can you consent without words, through a system?"

What if alien encounters reconfigured bodies and desires? When No Quarter commissioned Clark to do a game, she decided to explore this idea, researching non-trivial collaboration in card games, and talking to artists who might want to draw cute but horrifying tentacle friends. She wants to explore inherited desires, body parts and communication without words, through a game that is about consent and collaboration.

Journalist, author and live action roleplay expert Lizzie Stark believes LARP is a great medium for storytelling, but developing sex and romance within LARP games is an ongoing challenge. "It's interesting to me that in LARP, historically in the US, we've told way more stories about violence and power than love and sex," she says. "Love represents the real world we live in, it widens the number of playable plotlines, and it provides for an intense experience."

It's sad to expect players are more likely to get killed in a LARP than have a sexual experience for their characters, but there are some game design challenges for sex in live action roleplay. Some people fear "bleed", the lack of emotional barrier between feelings in the game and storyline with the player's emotions outside their character. People become afraid of becoming genuinely romantically attached should they play a love relationship in a LARP.


"Love represents the real world we live in, it widens the number of playable plotlines, and it provides for an intense experience."
Nordic LARPers mitigate bleed through "workshops and debriefs," which help create an emotional safe place, and they use rituals to bring people in and out of a game: it can be something as simple as a song that plays at the beginning and end of the game, or a ritual of laying a piece of clothing from your character on the ground to say goodbye to it at the end of the game. Experienced LARPers are used to managing crushes, a natural byproduct of play sessions. Sometimes players whose characters are in a relationship make plans for unsexy meetups to help reinforce boundaries. There are also safe words that let players notify one another where their boundaries are should it become necessary, and co-players provide support.

Players can actually have sex in some LARP scenes to represent their characters' interactions, but there are clear problems with that -- what about minors, what about existing relationships, or what if your character falls for someone they're not physically attracted to? Could bullying become an issue? People have also acted out sex with their clothes on, or talked one another verbally through what happens in a sex scene, but developing other 'mechanics' for LARP that indicate sex is an interesting design challenge.

In some LARP scenes you can feed someone fruit, brush their hair or give massages in order to communicate sex. A particularly interesting method was established in an Ursula LeGuin-oriented LARP: characters played morning people and evening people, instead of men and women. They were differentiated by the colors they wore, and marriages took place among four people instead of two. Players were allowed to touch body "zones" instead of body parts (arms, hands and shoulders), and characters can use eye contact and breath to communicate.

It's useful for game organizers to make rules about player boundaries and for players to negotiate. It doesn't pre-script active or passive roles, is gender-neutral, and preserves an individual sense of space, and is flexible and able to represent many different types of emotions. And it can also be hot, Stark says -- in workshops she's run she has been surprised at how intense the mechanics felt.

Before she began making games, designer and Code Liberation co-founder Nina Freeman was studying poetry in her undergrad, and began to evolve into studying and writing erotic poetry. "A lot of poets, such as Emily Dickinson, wrote a lot of erotic poetry, which you may not know," she notes. "It's amazing to see the wide variety of people and identites that are writing erotic poetry both in the past and present, and it's powerful to see what kinds of different sexual experiences they're having."

Kenneth Koch says one way to talk about inspiration is that "'it is something that makes poets feel they have to write, that they must 'say something' and that poetry is the only way to say it'... how could people not try to say what so much needs to be said?'" quotes Freeman, who believes Koch's words apply to games as well as poetry.

She has done her own personal poetry about sex, and is now making games: "I make them in much the same way I would write poetry. I think of my own life quite a bit, and how I can express myself through games." Her latest title, How Do You Do It, is about growing up as a child in a house where sex wasn't discussed. "When you were a kid, you were definitely thinking about sex, and wondering what it was," she says. "I'm interested in ordinary, everyday personal vignettes."

In How Do You Do It, a 12 year old girl is left alone with her dolls, and tries to join their jointed bodies together in the brief time she has before her mother returns home from an errand, using keyboard inputs that emphasize the awkwardness of the dolls' plasticky body physics. Since making the game she's talked to people from a wide variety of backgrounds who had similar experiences of figuring out bodies and playing with dolls.

"It's interesting to think about how [Barbie] dolls are sexualized, but the kids playing with them don't really understand why that is," Freeman says. Her work prefers to focus on character-driven narratives rather than the "voyeurism" -- watching the sex happen -- that takes place in commercial games that have experimented with adult content.

"I'm interested in thinking about how we can build characters who have meaningful sex, and also different kinds of sex," Freeman says. "Let's make games about what sex means to us, and how our experiences of sex are personal and unique. Making thoughtful games about sex is really important."


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Comments


Maria Jayne
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You know the Witcher 2 (not the first one because that was more pokemon fucking). Had some interesting scenes excluding the brothel. You still just watch of course, but I found the tryst between Triss Merrigold and Geralt to be more...effective then any other sex scene I've watched.

I tried the "Hot Coffee" patch for San Andreas, that has interactive sex scenes but they were little more than timing button pressed to rhythm. I see why it was taken out...being unfinished and rather graphic, however it did make the dates seem a bit more interesting because each date had a different sexual encounter. Rather then feeling like a taxi service. Pick up date, drive somewhere, drive home = +1 relationship.

I also tried Bonetown once, it is like a GTA clone but primarily featuring interactive sex goals to work your way up from the fat girls to the fit ones....hilariously sexist and crude perhaps but for a game basically serving as a sex fantasy simulator it seemed to have considerable investment in it's creation...compared to most sex games I mean.

I think sometimes people think sex scenes in games are the equivalent to porn...but porn exists and is easily available to all of us. So really I doubt many people are actively looking at games for sexual gratification, they're looking at games for context and interaction. If they are attracted to another character, they might want a sexual encounter with them. The problem comes when the game then tries to "gameify" that act, rather than make it meaningful beyond the "success" of the goal.

I would like to see more sex in games be an act that isn't an end goal within a game relationship and isn't the final stage of that relationship. Too often the sex is the final act of a relationship and then it's like it never really happened and that intimacy is barely ever acknowledged...but at least you scored the achievement.....time to move on to the next one.

Kyle Redd
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I don't understand the resistance to the idea of sex in games being simply a non-interactive cutscene that results from previous player decision-making. Of course, games are capable of making sex a participatory, interactive experience, but that shouldn't mean they *must* be that way in order to be successful

As you alluded to, sex in The Witcher 2 was genuinely effective and erotic, even though it was largely non-interactive. Considering how rare such an accomplishment is in games, I'd be perfectly satisfied to see more of that.

Ernest Adams
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http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/3131/sex_in_videogames_part
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http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/3130/sex_in_videogames_part
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http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/3119/sex_in_videogames_part
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:)

Veggen Skrikk
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The media of all kinds is already over-saturated with sex that I in no way want more sex in games. The games are the last place I can get entertainment that does not involve sexual innuendo, "funny because sex" humor and a constant need to devolve human relations into nothing but sexual. Epic fantasy works, that used to always revolve around courage, loyalty and battle are now about sex mostly. Science fiction flicks used to explore humanity and trans-humanity from many angles, now sexuality seems to be the only one. So yes, games can be (ab)used to teach about sexuality, but is there really such a need, as it seems everything else already does that job quite successfully.

Theresa Catalano
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Let's not pretend like every TV show and every movie has sex, that's not the case. If sexual content offends you so much, you have options. There's a wide variety of entertainment out there in all genres and media.

But yes, sexual content will always be popular, for good reason. It's part of the human condition. It's only natural that will include games as well.

Lihim Sidhe
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There are a few barriers to this issue:

1. Games Are Not Widely Accepted as an Art Form. I hear rumors of people that exist off this site and not into video games in general that actually still consider dozens if not hundreds of people working together to manifest interactive media is still not on equal footing as let's say... a painting of a bowl of fruit.

2. American Culture Warps the Notion of Sex with Antiquity. It's been a while since the last episode of Leave It To Beaver and Full House aired. Yet our culture clings onto those unspoken tenets all the while accept the notions of murder, violence, and mutilation in cinema and games.

3. Most Games Are About Psychopaths. A lone protagonist mowing down hundreds if not thousands of people, for whatever the reason, is a psychopath. The best selling games (Call of Duty, GTA, Titanfall, etc) are all about just mowing people down.

You tie this all together and any game that hints upon sex looks like a game advocating rape and the like.

If I was a developer making a game with sexual elements America would be one of the last markets I'd be concerned with.

Andrew Wallace
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The AAA market is not representative of games as a medium. This article is clearly taking about smaller, more personal games, not asking EA to dump $100 million into SexHaver2014 Extreme Edition.

Keith Nemitz
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I recommend concentrating design efforts on developing erotic situations over erotic activities. Sure, those overlap. So it's not so cut and dried, but activities tend towards specific actions and objects, ergo kinks. (where even missionary position is a kink) The vast majority of gamers are not sophisticated enough to enjoy the kinks that turn them on and not express judgement on kinks that don't. The more specific your games activities get, the smaller the audience. Which is the opposite of mainstream games. (mainstream players flock more to focused gameplay)

Human nature tends to prefer romantic activities be private. It's hard enough for a person to tell another person they have a crush on them! This is analogous to how humans tend to romantically bond in pairs, but other groupings are possible. So, it's great to see developers bringing sexuality openly to games! Don't expect the masses to embrace them.That's probably a good definition of subversive designs.

One approach for resolving a game that incentivizes players to create erotic situations, would be to let players 'draw' an activity. Maybe give them parts for creating a mechanism of resolution. (incredible machine?) Or offer metaphor to resolve the situations. Metaphor like the bit about LARPs and feeding fruit.

Great article, Leigh!

Nathan Warden
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The biggest question is, are sex scenes even neccessary in games (or any form of entertainment)? Almost everyone I know or have talked to get aggrivated by this because something like sex that's supposed to be very personal and intimate is suddenly set in front of them, and you can't progress in the game until you've watched it. For instance, in FarCry 3, there are two sex scenes that I'm extremely upset about because I'm married. My friend who played the game was also upset and had to turn his screen off and wait for it to end.

I've discussed this many times over the years whether it be in movies (and now games) is that sex scenes in games usually depict a serious lack of creativity in being able to depict it in a way that doesn't actually show anything. Even plays way back in the day like The Tempest and games such as Final Fantasy VI were able to pull this off nicely without putting anything in your face. Why can't game developers do that today and have some respect for both A) the young people who are going to play the game behind their parent's back, and B) people who are married and don't want their wife to feel like they're being cheated on because someone decided to suddenly put a sex scene in her husbands face.

Simply think about this... how many people play games to see sex scenes? You will come awefully close to somewhere around 0%

Now ask yourself out of all those who would buy your game how many people will buy it if there isn't a sex scene in there? You will probably come really close to 100%

Lihim Sidhe
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"The biggest question is, are sex scenes even neccessary in games (or any form of entertainment)? Almost everyone I know or have talked to get aggrivated by this because something like sex that's supposed to be very personal and intimate is suddenly set in front of them..."

Dude. Sex is a part of life. It's a bigger part of our existence than we are even comfortable admitting. You can debate that we are more than reproduction machines issued thought only because it aids in survival and procreation until you are blue in the face but if we all stop having sex mankind's presence vanishes from the Earth in about 100 or less years. Who plays games on a planet with a population of 0?

As far as sex and intimacy goes it's like Deus Ex; you can approach things in a careful and stealthy way (intimate) or you can just go in guns blazing (casual/hooking up). Not everyone wants candle lights and romance and not everyone wants darkened alley carnal festivals.

It seems a simpler point would be what all cutscenes should have - a skip button. Knights of the Round was AWESOME those first ten times or so but after that... Jesus.

Shawn Clapper
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Using the toilet is a part of life too. Thing is there are some things people don't like to watch other people doing. You can't logically discuss it away because it has everything to do with how it makes you feel and little to do with logic.

Like nails on chalkboard; nothing really "wrong" with it, but terrible to watch for some people.

Theresa Catalano
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By comparing sex to using the toilet, what are you trying to communicate? That you find sex and our bodies disgusting? You're entitled to your opinion, and that's not an uncommon attitude. But is it really a healthy attitude to be disgusted by your own body? I can understand that feeling of disgust, but I don't think it should be embraced.

Nathan Warden
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You're obviously (and probably intentionally) missing the point. Just the same as I don't want others watching my wife and I, I don't want to watch others. Most people don't want people to be watching them regardless of whether it's a "part of life". The fact is that sex is an intimate and personal thing just as sitting on the toilet is a personal thing and there's absolutely no good reason to have to watch it in a game.

People don't play games to watch people have sex, and you don't need a sexual scene to tell a story. If you can't depict it in the story without blatantly showing it you need to seriously improve you're storytelling skills, or fire your writer and get a new one. :)

Nathan Warden
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Speaking of Deus Ex (Human Revolution), I really enjoyed it and played through it several times. It had a great story! :)

It didn't have a sex scene.

Theresa Catalano
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I'm not missing your point, I'm explaining why I disagree with your point. I fully understand that you don't want people to watch you having sex, but that's not quite the same as not wanting to watch other people have sex. It doesn't violate your privacy to see people having sex on your TV. It doesn't violate their privacy either. They volunteered... they may even enjoy it.

You don't need sex tell a story, but there's also no good reason NOT to have sex in a story. For that matter, even showing someone sitting on a toilet can (and is) used in stories, sometimes even with positive artistic merit. It's true, there's a certain natural kind of disgust we feel about the idea of defocation, just as there's also a certain kind of disgust we feel about our own bodies and sex. That may be natural, but we shouldn't embrace that feeling. Embracing that kind of anti-sex attitude is encouraging people to be ashamed of their own bodies.

Luis Guimaraes
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How did it come to point where "watching others" and "your own body" mean the same thing?

Theresa Catalano
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In psychology, there's a pretty common assumption that anything you feel must also be felt by other people. I guess the assumption here is "I would hate to be watched, so other people must feel the same."

Luis Guimaraes
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I think it's more like "I like meat, and I like candy, but I don't want them blended together". Or better yet, "I don't want to be flashed by my videogames".

The point shouldn't be looked at from the point of view of "watching" (and certainly not "being watched", specially because in videogames it's polygons, not even "people"), and more from the point of view of "being shown" something you didn't ask for.

People play videogames they're in the mood for, eat food they're in the mood for, and watch film they're in the mood for. Not respecting that is a good way to cause awkwardness and lose the audience's trust.

Nathan Warden
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My eyes that the scene abruptly popped up in front of are part of my body.

When a sex scene unexpectedly comes up like in FarCry 3 for example and if I'm playing a game with my wife sitting there, it is definitely a violation of me and her. I wasn't playing a game to watch a sex video. Please let's get past the intellectualist/idealist crap and get down to practical life.

Kyle Redd
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@Nathan @Shawn

That's why we have the ESRB, review sites, and/or various other game information outlets out there. If you don't want to play a game that shows the act of sex, you don't have to play it. Just do a minimal amount of research ahead of time and you're good.

Meanwhile, those of us who don't mind seeing it (or would enjoy seeing it) can do so as well. Everyone's happy.

Theresa Catalano
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@Nathan

It'd be more practical to be less easily offended.

Jennis Kartens
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"Please let's get past the intellectualist/idealist crap and get down to practical life."

Practical life would be that I'd be laughing/shrugging, my girlfriend too, my sister too (and quite in fact any other female being I know) and no one would be offended by that it represents sex, but probably about how bad it is implemented.
That is because we're educated adult humans. My sister would be offended by gore and violence. My girlfriend isn't a huge fan either, but more liberate. Thats what I call healthy.

In fact, you saying it offends your marriage with your wife is actually more offensive to me as any sex scene in any game ever. It is entirely okay to slaughter people in FarCry 3 left and right, but a sex scene offends you. That is a level of true problematic ideology that really concerns me more as any level of blunt game design regarding sexual content.

Luis Guimaraes
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It sure would be a lot more practical for us in the business and development side of gaming if we could just tell consumers that they should just shut up, give us their money and like whatever we tell them to like. Or that the entire audience should be as savvy as us developers and do their research, spoil their experiences, and then decide not to buy our products that is 99,9% appealing to them, except it has unskippable sex scenes, which translates to a lost sale.

We're still talking as creators here. Making assumptions or imposing things on how the videogaming tastes or buying habits of player should be, from a consumer point of view, is really useless in this discussion, isn't it?

Theresa Catalano
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@Luis

As a creator of anything, I think you have a responsibility to yourself to create things you believe in. Talking about what we believe in is a part of that too.

Luis Guimaraes
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I believe that too, Teresa. But I think that part is left out for just doing what you wanna do and that's it, in which case I don't think any discussion will change your mind anyway. So we'd be discussing for a different purpose, to find solutions to common problems, as long as we assume them as problems.

But sure, the more discussion the better. I like to compare discussions to a lights-out puzzle. The wholea point is to keep addinga conflicting and contrarya ideas on top of each other until the whole can be seen :)

Amir Barak
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So, wait, you and your wife are quite alright with watching blood, innards and murder but not a sex scene? ... because sex is somehow more personal than slitting someone's throat?

(whoops, missed Jennis' exact response, lol).

Michael Pianta
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Outside of experimental games built around the concept (such as some of the ones mentioned) I think it will be very difficult for a more conventional game to simply include sex scenes in an interesting way. You've got cut scenes, of course, a la bioware or The Witcher, but other than that there is a fundamental conflict between what a game is and what sex is.

What I mean is that when a player is playing a game, they are interacting with the game primarily via buttons. Sometimes there are other inputs (thinking of gestures, such as wii-mote waggling and Kinnect) but those too are very simply by necessity. And this must be mapped to some kind of discernible output. Consequently games are about action - I mean actual verbs. A button for jumping, a button for opening, a button for speaking, etc. When it comes to sex this is a huge problem because the verb part of sex is the least interesting part by far. What are you supposed to do, tap A rhythmically? I think I've seen that done. It's pretty awkward. Real sex is fully experiential - it engages all of ones senses and also our deepest emotions. There is an empathetic response to your partner that, in ideal cases, becomes almost profound. I don't see how games can approach this. There is no good way to gamify that into button presses, no way to simulate it, and no way to depict it (for which reason almost all movie sex scenes fail as well). The problem, actually, is kind of similar to gamifying a conversation - but I think it's even harder. At least with a conversation, you could say that there are goals and actions (speaking, basically) and so it's perhaps mostly an AI problem. But in that sex is emotional, how are you supposed to gamify that? There may be a solution but I can't see it.


In the end, I think that if a game is determined to show that characters have a sexual relationship, it is probably best off sticking with a short cut scene, or simply implying it.

Jennis Kartens
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Indeed.

The act itself, kissing, body interaction is hardly convertable with current input methods. However the sensation of social interaction can be transmitted. I disagree that "movie scenes fail" since they're not always about the act, but about getting there and relating to the characters. And the very same is possible in games too.

The problem then remains the same as with any other topic: It is treated as a pure reward with no realistic consequences most of the time.

Games need to mature overall. The innovation of the two current Telltale game series are exactly the kind of maturing that is needed.


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