I Know What A Sex Is, Get Back To The Game Please: Video Game Sex Scenes

Mass-Effect-3

When I’m holding a controller I generally expect to be only pulled away when it serves a purpose. A cutscene that tells story faster and more fluently than in-game, actions that are so far beyond the means of the mechanics presented in gameplay like fantastical choreographed fighting. What I really don’t see the appeal of is making me see a sex scene in my goddamn video game.

I don’t have an issue with the fact that there are characters in in my game world that actually have intimate relations of the physical variety by any stretch of the imagination. Where I do draw the line is actually showing me the act as if it is supposed to mean much to me or as if I don’t know what two people do when the lights dim and the cheesy music plays. I don’t care that it exists, what I get irritated by is the showing of it all. I never particularly cared about GTA letting me have sex with hookers, what does seem odd is the unnecessary attention to detail in the later games of them actually doing something reminiscent of the act whereas GTA 3 just had two models sitting in a car and the hotrod would bump about.

I feel almost looked down upon when these sort of things happen, unless something specific in the actual sex comes up. The only reason I could posit that they are showing me this is either titillation which they positively fail at or believe I’m some sort of imbecile asking “what the fuck is a sex” unless they show me something. It’s not arousing it is just sort of a juvenile addition to my gaming experience that just raises an eyebrow for a few minutes. Just have them sort of lead into it then cut straight to them afterwards, it is still indicative of the act.

I wonder if this is just a symptom of bad narrative direction and writing, you know the kind where they can’t let bygones be bygones they gotta stop for a while and explain everything to you. Worse is when they do the thing then spend the next 5 minutes talking down to their opponent about how I totally just beat you explaining every minute detail to the temperature on the Moon at 6pm on a friday. The concept of subtlety alludes them at every turn, the ability to communicate without spelling it out right in front of the viewer being beyond their reach. Regardless of the reasoning, it irks me to no end.

I am somewhat more lenient to this in movies simply for the fact that watching these people is all I can ever do, there is nothing deeper than simply viewing and observing their actions so perhaps trying to remove any semblance of privacy from their lives is the best they can do to make a connection in certain circumstances. I’m not suggesting that to better suit a game that these sex scenes should be interactive, good god I find the notion in anything other than say God Of War to be pathetic. With God Of War I at least expect there to be QTE sections for near everything as well as the fact that being particularly Greek doesn’t exactly make the idea of the scenes obtuse in the grand scheme of things.

I had noted in one of my much earlier posts about how I dislike the sexuality in Bayonetta, not because of it being sexual but because it is presented in such a juvenile manner of flash and “male gaze”. If something is attractive I will notice, I am not dead I can ascertain these things without having them focused upon and I feel as if I am being treated like an idiot kid when shown “ass and titties” up against the camera. For this focus upon mature content in both story and gameplay with the blood and the killing and the deep philosophical conversation points this area seems to be less developed. I have never thought gaming as to be a boys club, the aspects of gaming do appeal to the nature of men but the content is good regardless of gender.

The thing is, maybe as a kid this sort of thing was actually enjoyable. I do remember enjoying seeing beautiful women on my screen regardless of the form but in perhaps the manner that they showed me I have found it to be repetitive. Sure on its own it can have its merits when used sparingly but for goodness sake both I and the industry are older now. The ones who have been here since the days of two bars bouncing a dot to each other now want to see what you can craft to still get out attention. Appeal to the new sure but do so in a way that doesn’t make the industry seem to be afloat on gargantuan breasts, show some tact and refinement after so many years at the grind. You had my attention once, prove it wasn’t misplaced.

How do you feel when you see sex scenes in your games? Is there a lack of knowledge on how to present these situations well? From what I have experienced even the ones like Bioware that everybody praise are full of real stinkers, perhaps this is just some designers novel fantasy? Thanks for the read and I’ll see you later.

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  1. #1 by harleenqueen on February 8, 2015 - 10:17 pm

    I love the games with writers who agree with you and handle it in a cheeky manner. Particularly, Mass Effect 2, when you die for trying to have sex with Morinth. She’s apparently not good at the whole mind-meld thing and kills you for doing the nasty with her. And while I’ve never played Dishonored, I’ve watched The Viking play it, and he discovered you can have your game ended for trying to bathe with the unwilling Callista. “Longest Conspiracy dissolved due to irreconcilable hostilities.”

    Like

  2. #2 by CreativeRhino on February 8, 2015 - 7:44 pm

    This is a brilliant article which made me also laugh to, I like the humour you bring out in your writing. But I laugh because I share the same experiences, it’s just so awkward. Like you say I shouldn’t be brought out of a game to then have to view people “doing a sex” there’s no point in it.

    I really don’t understand why games push sex scenes so much, there’s no need. Anyway, fantastic article, it was brilliantly written and it was a great topic to look into.

    Liked by 1 person

    • #3 by Prof.mcstevie on February 8, 2015 - 8:08 pm

      Thank you for the kind words, always nice to hear someone got a good laugh and a few decent thoughts to take with them.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. #4 by Elektra Kenway on February 1, 2015 - 9:01 pm

    I’ve been playing the Mass Effect franchise lately and, even though I’m really fond of Garrus, I didn’t expect him to show up with a bottle of wine right before a disaster. I was like WTF?! And it’s just a bit awkward, I mean, Turians are supposed to be a mix of dinasours and birds (kind of), at least physically.

    I was fond of James Vega but SO uncomfortable. All the flirting was basically harassing NPC’s as if it were OK somehow, and then Vega felt ashamed and doesn’t want Shepard to mention it, ever. Not to mention that the only way for a female Shepard to sleep with him is if he’s drunk enough.

    No. Just no. I had to reload a previous save.

    That only to mention romances, because the male gaze camera shots on Miranda made me a bit uncomfortable as well. They were simply unnecessary.

    I was thinking that in the Dragon Age games I somehow got to know some characters better, but I shouldn’t have needed to romance them for that. Why not show all those beautiful colours of their personalities without sex scenes? Flirting with Alistair in Origins was both sweet and funny (I admit he made me giggle a lot), and “The Iron Bull Experience” was the most hilarious romance in gaming ever (to me).

    On the other hand, I found Anders creepy in DA2. I remember I liked his appearance design but couldn’t stand him with the “I’m obsessed with you” and “I’ll hurt you” speeches. Not good, no. I liked him so much in Awakening, that it was disappointing to see a whole different character that only shared his name with him.

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    • #5 by Prof.mcstevie on February 2, 2015 - 5:29 pm

      I look forward to a future of games where a deep bond doesn’t have to be romantic in games more, where it isn’t a flirt but an exploration of the other persons mind and personality for the purpose of just getting to know someone. Sounds like a nice experience to take home with you.

      Like

  4. #6 by gamesthatiplay on January 30, 2015 - 4:55 pm

    I’m not a fan of romance in games. I’d rather be playing a game than watching it. Cut scenes are like rewards, others build stories. It feels like modern RPGs need these sax scenes. Although I have to say that hot coffee kept me up all night.

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    • #7 by Prof.mcstevie on January 30, 2015 - 5:15 pm

      I don’t mind it when it isn’t intrusive to the experience, some are more quiet and subtle with their hints, others are obnoxious and start aggravating me.

      Like

    • #8 by gamesthatiplay on January 30, 2015 - 5:20 pm

      I’d rather have hints like the Aliens movie could have been a full blown romance, but they just hinted at it with flirts.

      Like

    • #9 by Prof.mcstevie on January 30, 2015 - 6:29 pm

      With hints you don’t commit to anything and it lets natural chemistry play out in the characters rather than “HEY…..THESE TWO WANNA FUCK…..OKAY BYE”

      Like

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