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.