Sex in video games talk at GDC

Dragon Age writer David Gaider leading discussion next month at Game Developers Conference concerning "risks and difficulties" with addressing sexuality in games.

BioWare senior writer David Gaider will lead a discussion called Sex in Video Games next month at the 2013 Game Developers Conference, organizers have announced.

Gaider, who has worked at BioWare since 1999 and is currently lead writer on Dragon Age III: Inquisition, will discuss the issues of sexism and sexuality in contemporary games.

"Games have reached the point where realistic portrayals of sex and adult relationships are possible, but what does this mean to us as developers?," reads a line from the discussion description. "How much responsibility do we have in addressing issues of sexism and sexuality, and are we inadvertently making statements about what is acceptable, even when we don't mean to say anything at all?"

Gaider will speak about the "risks and challenges" associated with addressing (or not addressing) sexism and sexuality in games. Attendees will also hear Gaider speak about the benefits of inclusiveness during the discussion.

Other notable 2013 GDC presentations include one from Bungie Studios, which will open up on the creative process for its all-new universe with Activision called Destiny; and another from Hideo Kojima, who will give a public demo of his new FOX Engine and discuss Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes.

The 2013 GDC comes to San Francisco, California March 25-29. Microsoft is rumored to announce the Xbox 720 around the same time.

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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
Dragon Age: Inquisition

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180 comments
JACOBDRAGON666
JACOBDRAGON666

Hey its a video game deal with it i enjoyed seduceing morrigan and then isabella.

blackzeros7
blackzeros7

i don't know why you are all saying that sexuality and voilence is bad for childrens if these kinds of games are not supposed to be for childrens anyway. That's why a rating system was created. is not anyones fault, well maybe the parents' for buying it, that childrens are exposed to that kind of games and the developpers shouldn't be concerned about that, since the game is considered mature and is alright to have mature content

fenzl
fenzl

Sex > Violence - Sex, sexuality, and nudity are as human as eating and sleeping and American society is far too quick to sweep it under a rug. Nudity especially is far less problematic for the minds of our youth than unbridled, gory violence. 

razor_rj
razor_rj

WHY THE FUCK gamespot keeps using the same video and just changing the subtitles ?

wolf-luna
wolf-luna

even i ad sex one time whats the big deal  

roganth
roganth

Dumbed down game + controversy = extra sales

DeViLzzz
DeViLzzz

If sex in video games is going to become even more common stores and parents must do their best to keep these things out of the hands of kids who are to young to be playing games with this content and if parents are caught letting there kids play these games then they should be reprimanded by agencies such as child protection agencies and the police.

ejay_kain
ejay_kain

it is a nice addon in a game.

Cashmoney007
Cashmoney007

Hey Bioware, Your only main concern should be making DA3 amazing!  I do not care if there is sex in the game or not.  If you can start thinking of great story ideas again then people might start having more faith in your company again.

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

suggesting 2 people are boning adds just as much as showing the characters going at it, the important thing is that they did, not how they did it. Any emotional attachment to the characters will have been gained before that... It's like characters eating and taking a piss, we know they do it, but we don't need to see it happen.

Artisticlly it adds nothing either, since there's always a more interesting way to portray something than showing it directly.

Altares36
Altares36

It's not about "Being excited by pixels" it's about attempting to portray richer characters. A good story makes you feel the entire gamut of emotions. Romance and love are obviously on the list, so should not be excluded. Unless of course you want storytelling to regress to the SNES days that is.

Feedbackula
Feedbackula

I don't know. Sex has been in video-games at least as far back as the SNES/Genesis era, and more than likely before that. I don't suppose it's worse than violence being in video-games, but how it's portrayed is important. Does the slaying of children need to be in games? No. Definitely not. Do rape scenes need to be in games? Also, no. Definitely not. Ultimately, we need to choose carefully what we want to subject ourselves and our children to.

Vojtass
Vojtass

Will David Gaider mention The Witcher games? I'm really curious. Dragon Age 3 is scheduled on 2014 and so TW3. :))

jeffkaos
jeffkaos

Sex in games is, okay I guess, but I really find its portrayal pretty unrealistic. Take the mass effect series: here's a story of a man(or woman) who is leading a small team of inter-species warriors and scientists in a desperate battle for nothing less than the continued existence of all organic life in the galaxy......and he(or she) has time and energy to flirt with and have a romance with someone on that team. In real life no commander worth thier rank would fraternize with a subordinate, especially with such high stakes. Most games make sex and relationships seem as uncomplicated as having a few conversations and then getting it on. Sorry, but I'm a hero and I'm trying to save the galaxy and keep alive at the same time, I ain't got time for romance.

Random_Virus
Random_Virus

Bioware's notion of sex is cute, like a teenager with no sex ed.  They think dry humping is sex.

Take a lesson from The Witcher 2, Bioware.  They're not afraid.

tmthywtsn
tmthywtsn

Sex in games is necessary, it bring life to otherwise hollow characters characters; more indept emotional connections as well as entertaining dialogue. Screw the conservative opinion and let the virtual fucking begin!

Slash_out
Slash_out

I say it doesn't matter. Tastefulness? Political correctness? Hah. 

I don't care for that stuff.

Pick a world, an atmosphere, political situation, social rules, and so on. Basically build your world from scratch, make it however you want it to be. And apply the corresponding social interactions that would benefit the overall experience and plot.

Will the relations between partners merely be on the background? Will they jump each other at every turn? Or perhaps something a little less on the extreme ends? 

Doesn't matter, don't be bogged down by what sensitive and conservative people are saying. If I can chop off heads, I can certainly see naked breasts and sex. 

Choose, and pick an appropriate age rating. That's all. 

If we have to cater to every conservative whims, and have double standards applied to gaming, the medium will never mature and will remain beneath other entertainements, like movies.

Dahorsh
Dahorsh

*kneels and prays*

Dear lord, please keep teh sex from getting me in vidja games. I'll pee my pants if game designers try and discuss current society topics and how they apply to my fav-o-right hobby. Please keep teh gaye from getting me. If they include it in my vidja game it will cause me...slight discomfort. Like when when when...something different happens to me and I wasn't expecting it...and then got over it while being in absolutely no danger at all. Also I'm berry berry ah-scared if teh gaye interacts with my game character I will become teh gaye! Or miss achievement! The world is perfecto as it is and no one needs to think about intolerance, different perspectives, decades of dictated gender roles or challenging ideas...DOWN, F-DOWN and FORWARD is all I need lord. Lastly, pwease make mom go an make me teh pancakes t'morrow.

Imperiusmax
Imperiusmax

Sex in video games should be done in a tasteful manner and not detract from the gameplay.

As long as this is the case I dont see what the problem is.

PotHeel
PotHeel

It'll be interesting to see where sex in videogames is taken in the future. Bioware may be the company who most frequently utilises sex in their work, but it is generally laughable. In every game every female character, especially those who are scantily clad, is eventually falling over themselves to do it with the main character. Occasionally they include a same sex option too. Hopefully sex won't be used as such crude wish fulfillment in the future, and the topic can become something that enhances a game rather than trivialises it. 

tightwad34
tightwad34

If people weren't so offended by everything and opened their minds a bit, this wouldn't have to be an issue. Last time I checked, it's a part of life.

crashmer
crashmer

They're even turning non-real sex into a problem now, so they can have talk about it. They're the ones who created the problem in their games, now they want to teach responsability to others. What a bunch of bollocks, we all now sex will continue to appear in one form or another because it sells. Discussions such as these which are nothing but publicity don't change anything in the long run, it's just another entertainment.

sorinpam
sorinpam

how about sex with a real girl noobs !

Sndewey
Sndewey

who gives a s*** what or whats not in a game, ,I just want to play the damn thing

SiriusSteve
SiriusSteve

I'm just gonna call it as it is. I don't bother with the romances because its a game and dating a made up character is just plain weird. Maybe that's just because I have a happy marriage though..

peytonpanzers
peytonpanzers

Oh the never ending issue of sex in video games,it never ends because every time someone else brings it up.It's so simple either use it in your game or don't use it at all.Tell this guy to spend his time working on DA3 instead of talking about sex,if he wants to improve things he should do it with DA first.Every time i play DA:Origins i thank god that there is no romance option for Sten or Ohgren or Wynne otherwise i have to avoid party camp forever.Just because we are nice to someone it doesn't mean we are looking for romance. If this guy wants to help he better start by making DA3 romance better and more realistic,less homosexual characters,no more underwear scenes in the middle of the camp,put grey characters as well not just strictly black or white.If you need help play your own games like Baldur's Gate (don't know why they can't make something like that) In the end i'd like to say in depth romance is much more important than some sexy scenes.and for the sake of anything you believe in stop talking and start doing something. ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS.

DeFiLeDTitan
DeFiLeDTitan

Why do people want to see cartoon characters naked? Instead of getting that humping motion right, maybe developers should focus on getting the important parts perfected. Instead of the gta4 devs spending weeks on strippers or prostitutes, maybe they could have made Niko walk like a normal fricken person

Xplode_77
Xplode_77

@tmthywtsn *Disagreement* You should play some good JRPGs like Chrono Trigger or EarthBound. Sex is definitely not necessary to make you have an emotional connection with a character in a game.

solidus2_1
solidus2_1

@tightwad34 Actually most people aren't really that offended by most things in the world, but theres always those paticuler people who have to make things seem worst than they really are and they tend to be the most vocal

otherkrab
otherkrab

@Saketume hahahaha "you only play zero g tennis to have it off with the ball girls- you've gotten through three cod pieces this month!" i love red dwarf.

Saketume
Saketume

@DeFiLeDTitan Why do people want to see cartoon characters kill each other?

Why are you playing games even?

DeViLzzz
DeViLzzz

@Suikogaiden @DeViLzzz Obviously you are an idiot.  I was talking about games with sex in them which was the topic.  As for shooters if agencies want to reprimand parents for letting their kids play those so be it.  If there was a law saying kids could not play shooter content then I would follow it.

solidus2_1
solidus2_1

@Tripwolf @JimmeyBurrows  Remember back in the 80's when most action movies would feature a seen of the hero and heroine being nude and having sex?

Feedbackula
Feedbackula

@Tripwolf @Feedbackula Well, I wouldn't call what I described "exploring." Those two things, in particular, are very offensive. If someone doesn't find those acts offensive then they need to have themselves evaluated, and seek help. Also, what a lot of people call "art" is very silly and is truly chaotic (i.e. has no rules, is lawless, or is random), and that's an opinion coming from an art major. It's one thing to imply an act and another to display it. There's always a correct way and an incorrect way to go about doing something. Art should never have anything to do with such offensive topics. If it does then it should be treated hostile. No one likes a person who insults or offends people. I mean all of this respectfully towards your response, by the by.

voljin1987
voljin1987

@Xplode_77 @tmthywtsn Excellent points on chrono trigger and earthbound.. I still know ness, paula even poo and pokey (likewise chrono and lucca and so on)..

 I would respectfully point Gordon Freeman.. If you can connect with a character who dosent speak a fucking word.. its proof that its not sex that is lacking for us to "emotionally" connect..

tightwad34
tightwad34

@solidus2_1 Yeah I agree for the most part. It's also that people tend to take life too serious. I know when to be serious but for the most part I can have a sense of humor about almost anything.

Saketume
Saketume

@otherkrab Ah yeah! Gunmen of the apocalypse. I should have picked that episode instead. It's much better.

killa32130
killa32130

@Saketume @DeFiLeDTitan I'd say for the game play, there are many games that have characters kill each other but suck versus other games in that same genre. The gore part is either for shock or "realism" as some would say.

digitaldevil624
digitaldevil624

@aussiemuscle @Suikogaiden @DeViLzzz we have the E.S.R.B. rating system so that way kids could not get away with saying " there's only a little bit a of blood in it" if someones kid is playing a violent video game without there parents permission and they don't like it, don't blame the game industry, it's their own damn fault for not being able to read.

DeViLzzz
DeViLzzz

@Suikogaiden Yes the problems you mentioned are horrid but there should be a crackdown on what I said.  Society is so depraved already though it is hard to see things changing as many have attitudes like your's anyway.

DeViLzzz
DeViLzzz

@Suikogaiden If you can't understand child protection services wanting to be involved if kids are subjected to sexually charged or pornopgraphic like content then you are the one that doesn't get it.  Parents should be held accountable in certain situations.  Get a clue.

fenzl
fenzl

@Feedbackula @Tripwolf "Art should never have anything to do with such offensive topics." I have never seen anything I disagreed with so completely. Art by its very nature should never have boundaries imposed. Also, who defines what is and is not offensive?