saying that we need more sex in video game is like saying we need more racism. Why? And everybody seems to equate sex with nudity. Nudity has a place in video games for the aesthetics, just like in movies. But, there is rarely a video game that need a graphic sex scene to advance the plot.
Gaming's first lady of sex Brenda Brathwaite discusses developers' fear of the erotic, the "AO kiss of death" at retail, and how a lack of mature content threatens to Disney-fy gaming.
SAN FRANCISCO--Game developers are frightened of sex, claims the founder of the International Game Developers Association's Sex special interest group. But Brenda Brathwaite isn't talking about nerds living in a basement who are too scared to approach a member of the fairer sex; she's talking about the lack of it in the actual games themselves.
She told the audience at her "Hentai, Hardcore, and Hotties" talk at the Game Developer's Conference that "Developers are terrified of putting sex in games in case they get an AO rating, which is the kiss of death."
Part of this fear is justified, she admits, as even games that get an M for Mature rating are not stocked by the biggest chain stores. "Western sex games like Leisure Suit Larry and 7 Sins didn't sell," she sighed. "And they didn't sell because they couldn't get into Best Buy, Wal-Mart, or Target. If you can't get into those three stores, you're done."
Gaming's first lady of sex also bemoaned the ratings system as blocking the potential for serious, educational sex games. "For example, you can make a game about safe sex for teenagers, and it would automatically get an AO rating," she ranted. "There's absolutely no provision in the ratings system that says anything like, 'unless it's an educational title.'"
Brathwaite admitted she was flabbergasted by the whole furore surrounding Mass Effect, which was briefly banned in Singapore for its girl-on-girl action and contained, according to one report in the mainstream press, "full digital nudity and sex." The sex scene in question was perfectly acceptable, she believes, and didn't offer anything near a hardcore experience. She said, "Why is that not OK? Why is that not alright? If we don't have any sex in games at all, we're going to end up with just those happy Disney games."
Attitudes on sex in games are not universal, and countries like Japan and Germany have problems understanding why a little lovin' causes such issues in the US. She explained, "In Germany it doesn't have anything in the ratings system about sex. It's all about the violence."
She also laughed off the controversy surrounding the sex minigame in Sony's God of War. She said, "If you were watching that on TV, you know with that kind of the vase wobbling on the table stuff, that would barely be a 13. Come on, that's almost Happy Days stuff."
However, Brathwaite doesn't want more sex in games just for the sake of having more sex in games. "Right now, there's no reason for it," she told GameSpot after her session. "Sex games aren't selling, except in a few exclusive markets and in games that have big IP. "Gratuitous sex is usually mocked, particularly when added to games where it has no real point in the narrative."
I don't think she makes a good well said argument. But I do think that countries take things way out of hand when they ban M rated games. Children shouldn't be playing them in the first place, it's intended for 17+ (at least in the US).
Its not that the developers are reluctant but rather they are clueless in integrating sex into the plot of the game without making it seem ridiculous. As most stories go about you being the protagonist has embarked on an IMPORTANT and URGENT mission to save somebody, something or the world. The bottom-line. The storyline most games are based upon restrict implementation of sexual content unless it is of RPG or Simulation (maybe Adventure) genre.
The problem with sex in video games is the fact that the whole industry is afraid of using it. As a result, video game worlds seem like silly, platonic, and cheeky mockeries of reality at best. While gratuitous sex certainly isn't anything I want to see in video games, some nudity would certainly go a long way towards making certain games seem appropriately mature. As a reference point, look to the perpetual loin cloth that all monsters seem to wear. Monsters are forced to ridiculously and modestly cover their naughty bits up to avoid any nudity and spare a game the AO ban. Why would a troll, ogre, cyclops (or any bestial and uncivilized humanoid creature) wear ANYTHING? What is a putting a penis on them going to hurt? If people want to get jollies looking at green, hairy wangs, that's somebody else's problem, really. Allowing that kind of nudity seems completely logical to me. And what's the problem with having sexual encounters in a video game? Sex happens in reality, cutting it out of video games can break this sense of realism-essential to mature narratives. Am I saying you need sex in a story? No, but when it's there, and you have to go out of your way to cover it up, or hide it, it looks silly. Do you need a 'hot coffee' mini game for sex? No. But people freak out about the mere allusion of sex. The harmless sex in Mass Effect, for example, brought up the ire of the inscrutable Fox News. Sex-Box? Ten seconds of side boob and all of a sudden Mass Effect is a sleeper cell video game agent promoting childhood depravity? It's not even as 'steamy' (pardon the pun) as the Titanic sex scene, and how many teenagers saw that? I cannot see why having mature narratives is a bad thing. I cant see what nudity in a game will hurt. I just don't understand how people get so worked up against it. If you don't like it, don't play it, watch it, or read it. And for people who say that's impossible, I can happily say I've not been forced to see nor hear anything from the bible in.. oh wait, nevermind.. I'm not looking for AO rated sex games, I just wish developers wouldn't have to walk on egg shells around the subject. Bottom line, it's a story element that reflects the reality of human behavior and a very important aspect of human interaction. It's omission makes attempts at telling mature stories seem forced and silly. If little Jimmy wants to spend hours of his time working through a game narrative to get a 10 second clip, then Bioware's master plan has succeeded. And if this causes little Jimmy to develop some sort of mental problem, or to become sexually deviant, then little Jimmy probably wasn't all that far from the edge in the first place.
its not only about sex!! its violence, its substance abuse, its almost everything. i think if games would be rated the same way movies does, we will have some quality games out there(and some crappy ones to).. rated R movies can get away with some MUCHO stuff its not even funny, and movies yea movies like hostel,saw, to name few they dont get the blame for been so violent.. WTF its up with that?
I basically completely agree with the woman in the article. To really show how screwed up our country is regarding sex in video games I will point to an experience I had at Walmart last year. I know Walmart won't stock an AO rated game, at all, end of story. But not 10 feet from the video games is the DVDs, and last year I picked up The Devil's Rejects Unrated version for $12, at Walmart. Now for those not familiar with this movie, within the first 3 minutes of the movie is a scene of a fully nude woman being dragged through a forest, including many camera angles to get what I would call the Penthouse shots.. One of the bonus features is a 3-5 minute clip of one of the serial killers basically recording a rape in the basement of the house. I would love to know how Walmart can justify selling that DVD, which anyone could walk up to a cashier and purchase with no worries about age, and at the same time play high and might and claim they won't sell any of those filthy AO video games...
In my opinion video games are an experience, and it is sad for developers to fear including a type of experience. I agree wholeheartedly with Brathwaite, there is no reason to include sex just for the sake of their being sex. But there is also no reason to avoid it with fear, and for people to look at it as if it's so wrong. On a slight side note, I think a game that includes teenagers and safe sex would be wonderful. I wasn't aware for a while how many teenagers in the U.S. avoid contraceptives....it's absolutely ridiculous. Also, most don't seem to avoid it because of personal beliefs, they simply don't think it matters or don't accept the probability of any consequences resulting from unprotected sex.
@Bozanimal: It certainly is nothing more than my opinion, and I meant no disrespect. I understand where you are coming from, but I still hold to my original statement. I know you must enjoy the movies you listed or else you would not have listed them. Even coming from a very rural, Christian upbringing, I knew that the kinds of things happening in Kids were happening. I find it more saddening than shocking, but since I already knew those things were happening, it was more of an extra long news story than a movie, and I just didn't care for it. There doesn't seem to be much of an actual story to it, but I'm sure you would disagree. For you to have brought up American Pie seems ironic. I really don't see anything of value in that story, but I would say that even though the movie is based entirely on sex, it could be told without sex scenes. It would only be losing a few jokes, but the script writers could surely fill the space with other jokes... that's kinda what they do. But I also realize that the audience for which the movie was made generally does not mind sexuality in a movie.
@mattstone12: First, free speech is not on the line. When in a purely artistic, harmless medium (like games and movies), both sex and violence are forms of speech, and both can be regulated without challenging the rights of free speech. The ESRB is not government run, but was created by the software industry for self-regulation. It is completely voluntary, so they are free to give ratings as they see fit without any compromise of Constitutional rights. Developers are not required to have their games rated by the ESRB, companies are not required to stock products that are intended for a customer group other than the customers they are trying to attract (so large companies that sell games for children do not have to stock adult only products), and console manufacturers can refuse to sell games that they do not like for their system. It is all perfectly legal, completely separate from government regulation or censorship, and is just free trade at work. Even if there was something unconstitutional about the game ratings system, I don't see how that could ever lead to the destruction of the US. We have plenty of larger problems that would destroy the nation first. Secondly, you have managed to completely misconstrue what I was saying. I never said that sex scenes should be censored out of our movies and games. I understand that some people like that kind of thing. Otherwise, it wouldn't sell as well as it does. I was hoping that people would realize that my statements of a movie's worth are only opinions and were never intended as anything else. That is why I 1) stated that "my taste in movies is a bit strict," 2) stated that my taste in movies "usually does not match with film critics," and 3) used a source with which I have no affiliation for all of the movies I listed. I certainly don't like all of the movies I listed, but those are examples of generally highly regarded films. Maybe to help you understand my viewpoint, I liked the story of Finding Forester, but I will not buy the movie because of the ridiculous amount of foul language. The story would have been the same had they left all of the obscene language out. That does not mean that I want all obscene language to be censored out of movies! As a consumer, I just will not buy that. Likewise, I will not buy The Matrix Reloaded because of the sex scene. It added nothing to the story. In a similar manner, Gladiator has too much gore, in my opinion. It has a great story, and I did still buy it, but the majority of the gore adds nothing to the plot. At least with Gladiator, I can understand that removing gore would have alienated a decent portion of their desired audience, but what would be lost from removing the sex scene from The Matrix Reloaded?
@drgrady - Those are your opinions, and I'm cool with that. I personally disagree, but completely understand where you're coming from. I would only really disagree with Kids, which was not just a good movie, in my opinion it was shocking, moving, and left me a changed person in a time when HIV and AIDs seemed to be becoming an uncontrollable epidemic. It certainly scared me more than any horror film I'd ever seen.
I think too many people watch too much TV to think sex needs to be everywhere. Really, do you want to see some pixelated 3D models getting it on? Will that really help you enjoy the game more? Go buy some porn and get it out of your system already...
Of course, murder is okay even in video games. But sex, the way we live and show love and caring, yeah we don't need that. I'd rather my son watch a sex scene than somebody getting ripped limb from limb. What's going to disturb him most? Aliens popping out of people's chest, while killing others near by? Or seeing something in a game that he will learn to appreciate later in life?
considering that a large majority of gamers are in their mid 20's to early 40's adding sex to mature games seems like a cash cow that has yet to be tapped. the only reason its failed in america in the past is lousy game play. Don't get me wrong I'm not an advocate for porn games. but I wouldn't mind a little more spice to my M rated games. a little frontal nudity, a sex scene, it would make the games play more like a R rated film. Its funny how we can show hearts being ripped out of a body with no problem but show a man showing tenderness to a female he loves and its dirty.
look. if sex is needed in video games. then let them tell their story. its free speech on the line. if game developers cant tell their story then that is unconstitutional. bottom line. no excuses.HOWEVER, violence is not speech. therefore, should not be protected but somehow its protected. that kind of hypocracy to its own federal rights is powerful enough to bring themselves to a standstill and possibly destroy the nation. is that how America's become? so intangled into religious views it would even deny its most sacred right to some? yea, think about that. drgrady, AND not everyone has the same taste as you. if they like a movie but you think its bad. you should have no right to spoil their fun, its THEIR time they are wasting, not yours.
It disgusts me (as an American) that violence is so much more accepted than sex. the classic question, "Why is murder on tv ok, but we can?t watch porn during primetime"
Sex is not needed in video games? I thought games were all about fun. I know I'm having fun when I see boobies in video games. And that doesn't make me shallow or perverted. I'm a guy and I'm biologically attuned toward craving sex. I can't prevent that any more than I can stop drinking water.
@Bozanimal: Which of those do you suggest actually has a good plot? You may very well enjoy the movies, but do any of them really tell a good story? Each of the movies you listed I would consider a waste of my time. I will admit that my taste in movies is a bit strict and usually does not match with film critics, but there are plenty of examples of great movies that conveyed intimate relationships, and even some that insinuated sex because it was part of the plot, without ever needing to have a sex scene in the movie. Of the top five highest grossing movies in the US (adjusted for inflation), not one has a sex scene (those movies being Gone with the Wind, Star Wars, The Sound of Music, E.T., and The Ten Commandments). The most critically acclaimed film, Citizen Kane, had no sex scene. The highest publicly rated film, Casablanca, had no sex scene. Of the most award-winning movies in US history, only one (Titanic) had a nude scene, and it was completely unnecessary. Those movies are Gone with the Wind, From Here to Eternity, On the Waterfront, Gigi, Ben Hur, Titanic, and Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (with All About Eve matching Titanic for most nominations). These are from http://www.filmsite.org/, which lists several other sources for comparison. My point is that a good director should be able to convey emotions and relationships without having to rely on sex scenes. Obviously, movies that are entirely about sex are probably going to have sex scenes, but I have yet to see any of those that I actually thought had a decent plot. How do you think romance movies were done back in the 1940s and 1950s. They were certainly made, and many are still considered some of the best movies ever made, but the directors were good enough that they did not require those scenes.
I think that the biggest issue here is the phobia Americans have with sex. "countries like Japan and Germany have problems understanding why a little lovin' causes such issues in the US. " Why is it that coming up to a person in Gears and shredding them into little pieces with a chain saw (seeing all the blood and guts etc) is acceptable to our society and for our children ( as ChaosSorcerer87 pointed out they play M rated games all the time) and seeing a little ass or breast is not. This is a perfect example the people who say video games cause more violence to use against video games. though I know that this will never happen I think that it is time that the US really takes a look at our inherent values to see if glorifying violence and perverting the idea of love is what we really want for the future
@drgrady - Ever seen the film Kids? Eyes Wide Shut? Basic Instinct? Fast Times at Ridgemont High? I'd even argue sex was necessary in American Pie, even though the best bits were the ones without nudity (I refer to the, "Say my name!" scene, of course). But, as per my comment below, I agree that there has not - at least not yet - been a video game where it was required (unless you count "The Guy Game," which I don't).
Sex is in no way needed for telling stories in movies or games. If it requires sex, then chances are, it's not worth telling. I have yet to see a single game, movie, or tv show that had a sex scene necessary for the story unless the story was so worthless that it had nothing else to stand on. And realistically, why would we ever want to make sex ed video games? Has society degraded to the point that parents can not sufficiently teach their children about sex?
[QUOTE="Brathwaite"]Part of this fear is justified, she admits, as even games that get an M for Mature rating are not stocked by the biggest chain stores.[/QUOTE]A very real answer considering her stance. I appreciate that. I'll be honest, though, sex isn't needed in most games. I've had plenty of fun in Crysis, UT3, World of Warcraft, Bioshock, and Super Mario Galaxy without sex. When you show me a game that requires sex to deliver its message or add value to the gameplay, I'll buy it, but in twenty-nine years I have yet to see it outside of a gag like Leisure Suit Larry.
I don't understand how people can misunderstand what she is saying. They make M rated games, games with intense violence, gore, and vulgar language. You can't buy these games without being 18 in most stores, yet I play against 12 year old on Gears of War all the time... Sex is not required, but what is it any different than hopping on the internet and Google-ing breasts? It is such a controversy to hide it, to keep little kids "innocent" yet the same stuff, real life people, can be found on TV, movies, the internet, and any other form of media. But when sex appears in a game, God forbid! Speaking of which I am surprised that our delicate society didn't pitch a fit over Assassin's Creed which is a religiously involved game, we can't pray in schools, so let's go assassinate people in Jerusalem!
the whole hot coffee & Mass effect thing just proves her right. but Farenheit/ Indigo Prophecy has a pointless sex scene in it and that did ok for itself ... personally I don't need more just less of the public outcry that showing a pair of digital breasts is somehow hardcore !
I think many of you are misunderstanding her. she isn't advocating sex in all games or in games where it would be inappropriate like a Mario or Sonic game. More like a use of sex for a mature game or to start making games with a AO rating without fear or revenue lost. Is a video game containing sex elements or even one with a purely Adult theme wrong or guarantee of failure? We all saw how GTA use of gangster life became a hit due to its letting the gamer to be something they can't be or be do things that are forbidden. Would sexual themes be the next step in gaming. Its only harmles fun and fantasy.
Games with out sex are Disney-ish? WTF! Just think about gears of war, call of duty and many more other games which didn't include "sex" in it but where top sellers in their own right!
cafccc, i agree with you. sex in games isn't needed, period. it's just our, as americans, need to push the envelope as far as we can. you can tell a good story without sex. you can tell a great story without sex. i don't understand why so many people think nudity needs to be allowed, well really that's not the subject, people don't just want to allow it, they almost want to require it in video games. why is that? do you, and i'm speaking to any particularly person on this board, just the general second person "you", but do you get your jollies from seeing video games boobage. i mean come on, give me a break here. sex never has and never will be needed to tell a story. what's up with this weird notion that to portray that two people are committed, they have to have sex. so what's the deal?
When direct-to-drive becomes bigger and better, the problems will be solved. Until then, I think i can settle with what we are allowed to have, which really are good enough for the purpose of entertainment imo.
i find it amazing that shes actually saying this, i mean really, lets put princess peach and mario in a sex scene at the end of teh game because its narrative, i find it disturbing that alot of people want sex in games, i mean games are good without it right. oh and as for leasuir suit alrry, that was crap anyway no wonder it wasnt in any of those big stores
_AbBaNdOn EVERY person who believes in freedom should be fighting against Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft to at the very least ALLOW AO games to be made. AO games should not be sold in walmart,kmarts, or targets but they should be allowed to be sold SOMEPLACE like on the internet. Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony are dictating what we are allowed to play and experience and in my opinion they can go ____ themselves. ================================= ....Why is it that every time people blame these situations on something, it has to be the companies that produce the systems? Yeah they dictate the games that come here, but remember where all the complaints come from...It comes from idiotic people who are super concerned about nothing. "If you don't want people in your home playing it, don't let it happen!" That's the logic that should be placed in people's minds, but that just doesn't happen at all. Instead, parents will end up complaining and it makes developers worried about making a game that will not sell at all. If it weren't for these people, we'd have the big 3 be more considerate about which games can come out.
Sex is everywhere else in life. I feel the same way about video game violence as i do on the sex issue. We ARE a free country,
What more is there to say, I want it but not in a cheap degrading way, it has to be relevant. Our rating system is broken this is more evidence
EVERY person who believes in freedom should be fighting against Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft to at the very least ALLOW AO games to be made. AO games should not be sold in walmart,kmarts, or targets but they should be allowed to be sold SOMEPLACE like on the internet.
Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony are dictating what we are allowed to play and experience and in my opinion they can go ____ themselves.
who can get excited by the image?, none, but as the idea might result, is interesting, and yes they should put more sex in video games.
That girl is absolutely brainless. I wait for the day she learns of the dangers of boundless promiscuity.
she is absolutely correct. There are probably lots of developer that currently develop or already develop and released game that is stripped with bit or some of the sexual content. There are plenty of movies that got even PG13 with some sexual scene and sexual innuendos. What the game ratings currently asking is put sex related stuff far less than what's in the PG13 movie to give M rating, little more than that, as in R rated, will go to AO. This will only make the game more kid friendly, and that is not good. Game industry need to go forward, not backward.
..........first off how did this person become the Gaming First Lady?? Developers are not scared to make games that have sex in them...just don't want to deal with the lawsuits and do care a little for the kids out there. Sex games aren't selling because they not in stores....because stores won't let them And how no sex in video games make it more Disney like?? Yes, I'm killing Mickey Mouse in Gears of War, but really....how?? And the reason why no one will make educational sex games for teenagers is because they will take it as porn, that will cause tons of lawsuits and lose of money Yes, teaching teenagers to do the piledriver, missionary, and doggy style is the new way of playing game Come on everyone Let's play Cooking Mama: Doggy Style Rated T: for Teens This woman must a have no kids or something
So there's sex in a game. Big whoop. We see it in movies like National Lampoon's Animal House and Team America: World Police. Now that Mass Effect controversy was nothing but false information. Most of us as a gaming community fought against Fox News because of that story, and also Cooper Lawrence was a feminist.
1 . Is she referring to the scene at the beginning levels of the game in the ship ? 2 . Why gamespot doesn't have an internal news link for that "full digital nudity and sex." article on New York Times ? Yes , we might need sexuality in the games as far as it enhances the depth of the games story , feel and characters , but games like 7 Sins are total rubbish .
You silly people, why don't you think? This is not for the simple fact of having sex in a game, it is the affect that it has on games. So what if you blow up an alien to stinky and gruesome gory bits, thats not enough. Because of the lower bar, it will eventually in a sense Disney-ize games for having no content of the like. Like she said, the God of War minigame thing would barely get a 13 in theaters, here it is controversy? This is unacceptable and she knows it, games would suffer the same thing the Animation Age Ghetto is doing to animation.
Our country is backward enough as it is. Hey your 18! Go buy a gun, have a baby start a family, go to war to give your life..... wait you want a beer? Your gonna have to wait for that, why don't you go buy a gun and have a baby instead.
Brathwaite makes a completely unfounded argument when she says we're in danger of ending up with "happy Disney games". Most of our modern games pack a generous amount of violence and are not G-rated by any means. We have games like Grand Theft Auto where the option to have sex was well known, and those games were best sellers. And sex doesn't have to be used explicitly in a game-- isn't that what porn is for? Plenty of game developers include sexual elements in their games. I went back and finally finished FFX, which reminded me of the way Lulu is nearly falling out of her robe. Kosmos from Xenosaga is an eye-catcher too. Game developers know that sex sells and they use that to their advantage in many, many games, regardless of whether there is explicit sex. On that note, there's something else that needs to be pointed out (to Brathwaite especially): Disney isn't afraid of sex. If you've ever watched Disney movies, you'll notice the women are generally very sexy. I know, because I had a crush on Ariel when I was in the 5th grade. Disney women have voluptuous curves, seductive eyes-- the works. They even swing their hips when they walk. Even "Aladdin" has a spot where the Genie is singing about granting all of Aladdin's wishes, he illustrates this by surrounding Aladdin with a group of well-endowed young women. So what controversy is there, really? Brathwaite noted that gratuitous sex is usually mocked in games where it has no point in the narrative, and that's a big clue: in most games, full blown sex has no point in the narrative. That's why we're not seeing it. But as it stands, we aren't in danger of anything. Everybody should cool off by watching a Night Elf dance.
Some of the U.S. rules are just ridiculous. For instance, in Harvest Moon (girl) the girl can choose to marry a boy or take a girl as best friend. There's never any sex involved. The game has been out in Japan for years but is finally being issued in the U.S. Yet Natsume may delete the girl/girl choice simply to cater to U.S. demands. STUPID STUPID
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