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Second Take: Sex in Video Games

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February 6, 2008 6:56:33 AM

Ben and Rob discuss the blow-up surrounding the Fox News editorial on Mass Effect and debate over sexual content in games.

Watch Video: http://www.tomsgames.com/us/site/flash_videos/second_take_sex_in_video_games.html

Is sex an issue in our culture as games become ever more mainstream? Do you think they will become a bigger part of game narratives? Is the ESRB doing enough, or is it the parents' responsibility to police what is appropriate for kids and teenagers to play?

-Ben

More about : sex video games

February 6, 2008 10:09:30 AM

All your boners are belong to us
February 6, 2008 11:57:00 AM

Well the Japanese have a multi-billion erotic game industry known as H-game or Hentai-game industry basically since the 90s in the era of SNES.
Currently it's mainly concentrated in the PC area.

Those games are a bit different to conventional sense here by the genre. There are genre like turn-base H-games but they are few and far in between. Most H-game types are adventure games where basically like an interactive e-book (with route options presented to user) which focus mainly on story, static CG artwork and voice-acting.
The appeal of the almost alien genre and a different cultural perspective, means that those games are hardly ever ported to overseas market. There were some, that's all.

3D games are also present but again very few companies in Japan have the expertise in this area (3D graphics in PC is a niche market due to success of consoles in Japan. ). Doing a search you can quickly see however, many overseas fan sites have centred around these Japanese made 3D style, basically polygon sex, type H-game. I wouldn't say the appeal isn't there.

So basically, my point is, this sex in 3D game is well not unheard of in the far east. Due to recent development and events, e.g. Hot Coffee, Mass Effect the topic has risen. It's facing a cultural barrier.
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February 6, 2008 12:35:28 PM

I think I would rather the world be shown pictures or videos of "artistic" sexual content in games than allowing headshots, knife stabbing, robbing, stealing, destruction of a continent/country/etc in a game.

Definitely we got some things backwards.

February 6, 2008 1:05:26 PM

I've seen worse stuff on network TV than I have in most games. Besides, like a teenager needs a game to see sex when they have access to the internet.
February 6, 2008 1:30:32 PM

Yeah, either way, the Mass Effect scenes are barely graphic. You'd think they tossed it in because fans complained that the romance in Star Wars KOTOR didn't go anywhere :p 

It's the standard media frenzy over something that is even slightly controversial, which is intensified by the "omg video games are the spawn of evil" mentality that some people take. There are much bigger things to worry about than two female (technically, one's monogendered) humanoids kissing. For all you know, they just cuddled :D 
February 6, 2008 3:00:01 PM

The so-called grown-ups need to grow up. It is OK to chop off limbs but no nudity. Ridiculous!
February 6, 2008 6:07:10 PM

bennyblanx said:
Ben and Rob discuss the blow-up surrounding the Fox News editorial on Mass Effect and debate over sexual content in games.

Watch Video: http://www.tomsgames.com/us/site/flash_videos/second_take_sex_in_video_games.html

Is sex an issue in our culture as games become ever more mainstream? Do you think they will become a bigger part of game narratives? Is the ESRB doing enough, or is it the parents' responsibility to police what is appropriate for kids and teenagers to play?

-Ben


There is a three-word reason for this kind of stuff:

IT'S ELECTION SEASON. (That's me talking, not Turpit :D  )

Everybody wants to "think of the children"- it's VERY politically popular and an unwinnable solely emotional debate if you dare to call any of it in question because if you do, you'll be branded as a "child-hater" and be persona non grata in any kind of a position that is public or deals with policy for a loooong time, if not permanently.
February 6, 2008 8:37:38 PM

Wow. Great show.
My favorite by far.
February 7, 2008 5:03:03 AM

ha ha ha -- puritan Americans, ooh oooh sex it's is so evil, now lets go beat the crap out of some in Boxing at Las Vegas live...

Is American society ever going to evolve.

Sex -- so what? And??

What's next, the Christian channel?
February 7, 2008 9:56:23 AM

THERE IS WAYYYYY TOO LITTLE SEX ANS SEXINESS IN VIDEO GAMES. THERE SHOULD BE WHOLE TITLES WITH JUST SEX. IT IS A CONSTANT SOURCE OF AMAZMENT TO ME THAT ALL WE HAVE IS LIESURE SUIT LARRY AND THATS IT. IF YOU WANT VIOLENCE, YOU GOT IT. ITS OK TO KILL, BUT NOT PROCREATE?!?!? WHATS UP WITH THAT? ARE WE SUICIDAL AS A PEOPLE? i WOULD MUCH RATHER MY KIDS SEE SEX OR NAKEDNESS THAN MURDER! COME ON PEOPLE!
February 7, 2008 10:46:20 AM

spiralsun1 said:
THERE IS WAYYYYY TOO LITTLE SEX ANS SEXINESS IN VIDEO GAMES. THERE SHOULD BE WHOLE TITLES WITH JUST SEX. IT IS A CONSTANT SOURCE OF AMAZMENT TO ME THAT ALL WE HAVE IS LIESURE SUIT LARRY AND THATS IT. IF YOU WANT VIOLENCE, YOU GOT IT. ITS OK TO KILL, BUT NOT PROCREATE?!?!? WHATS UP WITH THAT? ARE WE SUICIDAL AS A PEOPLE? i WOULD MUCH RATHER MY KIDS SEE SEX OR NAKEDNESS THAN MURDER! COME ON PEOPLE!


There are more games and other associated programs that are rated AO by the ESRB and do have a lot of nudity (the Girls of Playboy screensaver series comes to mind.) But that AO mark generally prohibits them from being sold in retail stores, so it's less likely you'll know about them.
February 7, 2008 12:09:13 PM

It's not about fox news being "ill informed". It's that Fox news is employed as a tool to create common perceptions of various subjects to conform to whatever agenda their corporate and political sponsors wish to convey. (much of whom are religious zealots and nutcases) They are not some fair and honest free-standing organization, but rather a political/industrial outlet designed to serve the agendas of such.

The problem these days is that people STILL think the press is a credible source of information, when they are not. And no, they are not.

"Here at Fox News, we don't endorse sex, we were all grown from test tubes". Fox Network as a whole uses more sex on all their stupid shows and less intellectual material, than any other network. I encourage people to take a look what shows they are responsible for. None of these shows contain ugly people one might notice. They are all attractive women with pleasant anatomical features. Why? Because people like it! Young people like it and old people like it.

And truth be told, sex is a fact of life. There is not one normal human being who does not think about it. It's encoded in our DNA and it's part of the core of our existence. But if you listen to the wrong people, you could be led to believe that "sex is bad". How many times have you heard that already? We all know it isn't! These idiots made it look bad because of what they associate it with.

As far as "sex" being employed in a video game, heh, where else is it not employed? It's used to sell everything. It's used in humor, and it's even become a huge focus of the drug industry.....all of which are represented by FOX News Ironically. It's all over TV. So why is a video game any different? Oh! because Fox News and some self proclaimed intellectual expert (like they always try to employ for a semblance of leverage to their arguments) says so!

So please, take their junk with a grain of salt, because you're getting nothing more factual watching fox news, or anything on their network as a whole than you are from watching spongebob on cartoon network.....of which is gradually employing more and more sex in the form of these "hot teen" shows. lol

So basically the view being conveyed by Fox is that "Our sex is the only sex you should be watching". Holy double-standard batman!

Food for thought.
February 7, 2008 12:11:20 PM

annihilator-x- said:
Well the Japanese have a multi-billion erotic game industry known as H-game or Hentai-game industry basically since the 90s in the era of SNES.
Currently it's mainly concentrated in the PC area.

Those games are a bit different to conventional sense here by the genre. There are genre like turn-base H-games but they are few and far in between. Most H-game types are adventure games where basically like an interactive e-book (with route options presented to user) which focus mainly on story, static CG artwork and voice-acting.
The appeal of the almost alien genre and a different cultural perspective, means that those games are hardly ever ported to overseas market. There were some, that's all.

3D games are also present but again very few companies in Japan have the expertise in this area (3D graphics in PC is a niche market due to success of consoles in Japan. ). Doing a search you can quickly see however, many overseas fan sites have centred around these Japanese made 3D style, basically polygon sex, type H-game. I wouldn't say the appeal isn't there.

So basically, my point is, this sex in 3D game is well not unheard of in the far east. Due to recent development and events, e.g. Hot Coffee, Mass Effect the topic has risen. It's facing a cultural barrier.


I have to salute the Japanese for accepting human sexuality and bringing their society past the point where everyone is so uptight about a subject so fundamental to being human.
February 7, 2008 2:03:36 PM

I also find it outlandish to suggest that anyone playing this game has not been subjected to countless sexual depictions on the internet.

I figure that we're just in a new era and that the only thing a parent can do is just be completely frank with kids about sex so that when they see a video clip of a woman dressed in leather stomping on a guy's crotch, they can understand it in context. Actually, that's probably a bad example as most porn is, let's face it, not exactly uplifting for women.....

As for games, I figure that, sooner than later, the U.S. will be inundated with a tidal wave of sex game imports from Japan. Maybe Sony or MS will release an "adults only" console or some other such nonsense.
February 7, 2008 3:54:36 PM

Gaming is a big business, just like any other big business, it's going to make headlines easy. Microsoft/Yahoo, ExxonMoblie/another record profit year, Tom Cruise/scientology gibberish, Britney/crazy.. etc. Gaming is now in the media's corporate sights, and they are gonna sensationalize it just like they do everything else. They barely let Geoff (or Jeff, whatever) get 3 words in without cutting him off, this is just what the big news channels do. Watch local lol.. as long as it isn't owned by "the man" (Murdoch, i'm watching you..)

Anyone wanna play some Duke Nukem 3D lol?
February 7, 2008 5:31:58 PM

Meh.
This is silly. Sex is all over.
Including games.
Have a look at the tv ! Have a look at the movies
made today. Gay, lesbian, bi-sexual content all over.

This is a AMERICAN reaction. (Sorry, but some of you are so
retarded sometimes.)

If games have sexual content, describe in in the
game manual or on the game box. For the "parent" to
see and deicide buy or not.
I myself live in Sweden and have NEVER seen these
retard reactions. Again. Its all american reactions.

thank you.


dlb
February 7, 2008 7:59:05 PM

dlb404 said:
Meh.
This is silly. Sex is all over.
Including games.
Have a look at the tv ! Have a look at the movies
made today. Gay, lesbian, bi-sexual content all over.

This is a AMERICAN reaction. (Sorry, but some of you are so
retarded sometimes.)

If games have sexual content, describe in in the
game manual or on the game box. For the "parent" to
see and deicide buy or not.
I myself live in Sweden and have NEVER seen these
retard reactions. Again. Its all american reactions.

thank you.


dlb


It is not an American reaction- it is a reaction by a few Americans that have a very public profile coupled with the fact that quite a few Americans put on a "public face" of being against such things but really aren't when nobody is looking. If these things ACTUALLY were such a big deal to the majority of the country, do you honestly think that they would sell well enough for somebody to go through the expense to market there? Stop to think about it for just a second rather than jumping to the stereotypical holier-than-thou European "America sucks!!!" conclusion.
February 7, 2008 8:37:19 PM

It's because Americans still live in Rules of Christianity! Wake up America (them who take this as a problem) and learn that Religion is ridiculous.!

It's a GAME by the way!.

A Freaking **** game! She just have to complain over something, because she is bored.

Please be Atheist over there! and vote for Obama. :p 

Sorry the stronge language but I have my freedom of speach and if you censor my words I don't! sue you like some Americans whould do :p 

We can handle the swearwords (normal people can!). Because it's words!

Back to the subjekt. IT's a game! A game! and again it's a game. Who cares? This whould never happen in Europe! by the way.

And if there is a sex scene that chould make some small kinds HORNY just whatching ANIMATED SEX SCENE IN A GRAPHIC ENGINE!, they are mental sick? and it could be funny to see in the news that kids i US begin to masturbate in the age of 6-9 and it's becoming an epidemic in the land. xD

The land of wankers! OMG! :o  haha

PS. I'm from Denmark :)  :p 
February 7, 2008 8:58:04 PM

Very hypocritical, violence is allowed but not sex?
E.g Gta: SA and the sex minigame.

In my opinion violence is far mor worse than sex. is it so horrible for a 15-year-old boy to see naked women?

Yeah and lets censor more "****" words and nipples, I'm sure it makes the world a better place :) 

edit: Lol, the word got censored ;) 
February 9, 2008 2:56:51 AM

As an American who has lived overseas for quite some time now I have to say I am embarrassed at the puritan attitude of Fox News. I believe if they really were concerned with improving American Society they would attack the violence that is propagated everyday. This will never happen though because that would mean calling into question our governments activity and support of violence on a global scale.

It is very sad that people will assume that a nude form will cause males to go out and rape but regular exposure to violence does not have an effect on the psyche. I watch violent movies and my diatribe may seem hypocritical but I know myself and that these movies do create problems with our value systems. The only solution I can think of that may get them off the backs of those who put sex into video games is to produce more titles with a sexy theme. If the market is flooded maybe they will leave them alone like they do with violent games and movies.

I'd like to finish by saying: I have three boys that I would much rather have thinking about sex than contemplating death, destruction, blood and guts!
February 10, 2008 12:30:09 PM

Meh, double standards abound. For FOX of all companies to decry a little butt cheek and sideboob is absurd.

Also absurd is the notion that any of this harms peoples' psyches. Boys age 12 and up at least will be looking for and finding porn on the internet. It happens, it will happen, it will continue to happen. Also boys like violence. If they can get that through a video game, alls the better. Noone gets hurt that way.

If there was anything to the notion that video game violence begets real violence we would have seen a massive upsurge of violent crimes since the release of Doom.... what we have seen is a massive decrease in violent crimes since the release of Doom. Hmm.

I say screw censorship. The beliefs and morals of the consumers will determine what is and is not bought and sold and will better guide our lives. Ratings systems serve a purpose to help parents regulate their kids' exposure as they see fit, but censorship is pointlessly constrictive.
February 11, 2008 12:43:36 AM

Next they will retroactively ban Pacman, he is practically running around naked the entire game.
February 13, 2008 10:48:16 AM

Sex in games should be actively encouraged.

I realize that's probably a controversial statement, but let me elaborate: I don't mean sex like in a nude patch for Tomb Raider Anniversary or a sex minigame like in GTA. I'm thinking more of the sex in Fahrenheit (Indigo Prophecy, if you will). It actually added something to the story and the emotional experience, it made sense, just like a love scene makes sense in good movies.

The main problem here is not the sex in itself, it's in the way games are seen by the mainstream. I'm very much looking forward to the day that after finishing a game I'll be able to say "now this game was a true work of art". That hasn't happened yet, and I think one of the main reasons for this is that games are not taken seriously, and this whole sex taboo is a part of it. Games aren't given the room to expand into the realm of respectable entertainment, they have to stay "entertaining" and "clean".

So bring on the sex.
February 13, 2008 12:45:50 PM

I think violence plays an important role in this desensitization discussion as well because it seeds from the same misinformed views of video games. Anti-gaming people say that the kids from Columbine snapped because they played violent games.

It is funny because violence has been used as this tool for many things, it isn’t new. A schizophrenic guy who smoked weed murdered his parents so Anslinger spun it off in his first anti-drug adds as “pot makes you crazy and causes violence.” He continued to blame pot for the rise in violence and that is why pot is now illegal. Anti-video game people are using the same tactic to try to ban them.

I don’t want to sway from the topic of sex, but it is parallel with violence. Ben and Rob hit the nail on the head though. People are just misinformed and think video games are made for young children. It is funny because there ARE games made JUST for children and the games they are talking about are the ones targeting the mature crowd. Just as Ben and Rob said…adults play games too…this is a new generation of adults.

Ok…so younger kids do have access to games with sex in them…do you think they don’t have access to the Playboy channel at home or porn on the internet? If they are playing a game with sex in it, then their parents sure as hell aren’t watching them that close, and if they aren’t then they sure as hell can’t prevent them from seeing porn on the internet. If I wanted to see sex, I would go to the internet and not games.

Furthermore, as a culture, we are far less open about sex and far less violent than what they were in the Roman times. They celebrated sex and decorated their friggin walls with orgy scenes!! Did we forget about the gladiators? How is it even a valid argument that we are more violent or desensitized to sex? I love how people disregard history as if it never existed.

It is just the same old story about the conservative’s struggle to power with the use of lies and convictions.
March 1, 2008 2:16:29 PM

I find it funny they go nuts over this very PG rated "sex scene". I agree that some people just think all games are for kids because for some reason they traveled forward in time from the 70s or something.

What's funny though is that there are worse games. Cmon DOA Extreme? The many G-stringed girl in a lot of games? There was a PS1 RPG called Xenogears that also had a similar scene, why no fuss then? Why fuss over this incredibly tame scene when gaming has seen its fair share of scantily clad girls? Maybe back then those ass cheeks were too pixelated then, but hey we have Ivys ass in full 3d glory in the upcoming SC so what gives. Why not get bent out of shape for that.

Also, just wanna throw this in, I think Hollywood is worse when it comes to violence and sex. We aren't the ones releasing torture porn. Ironically, you'd think we'd have done something like that first. :p  And I've seen plenty nipples in my movies, but where are the nipples in my games? We barely ever get a sideboob FFS!
March 18, 2008 10:38:59 PM

I am a child hater. I hate children, and I think there should be more sex in video games. There, I said it.
April 23, 2008 12:30:56 AM

This will all be taken care of when the new president's inaugurated.

It's the only issue she was consistently bringing up as a Senator anyway.
Then it'll be easy to get rid of games you don't like, just release a mod pack adding nipples and they'll be recalled and slapped with M or AO ratings if remarketed at all.

Master Chief with nipples, I'm thinking an outright ban right there.
June 20, 2008 1:13:13 PM

I think if most people saw the clip, they wouldn't be too worked up. The only ones who would be are people stupid enough to watch Fox News. I really don't care though because that's becoming less and less the status quo, depending where you are ;) . But, it's good to see that most people see the obvious hypocrisy in allowing violence and carnage, but not sex. It's the same in movies.
July 9, 2008 5:07:31 PM

the below link if of a hentai game... some of them are drawn a lot better than this though

http://www.pornhub.com/view_video.php?viewkey=cc491e7e6...

righteous said:


So basically the view being conveyed by Fox is that "Our sex is the only sex you should be watching". Holy double-standard batman!

Food for thought.


hahaha


Id rather live in the US than London... arg the rain and house prices!!! But as a person who appreciates the abstract side of life and is interested constantly in the new and the distinct purity that comes with freedom of artistic conceptuality I sometimes think I'm better off living in London. That said In the US you can find anything you want just like in Europe you just have to dig a little deeper.
!