Sexuality in video games can be so strange sometimes. The fact that mating with a team member of your ship in Mass Effect is an Achievement is a bizarre notion. The game rewards the player for sleeping with someone by giving you a pat on the back and saying "Good on ya, you did the sex." When I actually sit back and think about sexual references in games I can get a bit creeped out. Now to be honest these contemplative thoughts don't happen often. However, there are times when sexuality stands out more to me and I just can't seem ignore how awkwardly it is portrayed.
Looking at a game like God of War I can't help, but be a little offended by the sex minigame just thrown into almost every game in the series. I find myself wondering why is the minigame is in there at all. What purpose does it serve? One in particular that bothered me was in GoW: Ghost of Sparta. You walk down the road and into a brothel that is filled with of course topless woman. Now I know it is suppose to be Ancient Greece, but they had shirts. Anyway as you walk into the room you begin the awkward minigame of pressing buttons to perform sexual acts with not just one, but two woman. Everything is going fine except oh okay you want to join? Sure. Wait two more? Ah okay--wait now more? Now how many are there? Eh, screw this I lost track.
The scene goes on for about a minute as more and more woman enter your room for some Kratos lovin' until the final awkward climax. This minigame adds nothing of value to the game. The player is told to sit there and hit buttons as awkward moans come from the room with eight woman. EIGHT WOMAN that isn't sexy that is disturbing. And to top it all off your final reward is a trophy unlock congratulating you on your sexual prowess. I personally find nothing sexy about nine people in a room trying to get it on. That scene is an attempt to add sexuality to an already sexual game. The purpose of the scene is to make the player feel a rise in their pants. I can honestly say that scene does the complete opposite to me. I wouldn't enjoy that in my real life let alone a video game. I feel alienated as it projects being a man means having sex with multiple woman at one time. As if that is something I am suppose to strive for in my life. Every guy just wants to be a porn star.
Understandably some men somewhere do have this fantasy. Or just fantasize being so desirable every woman wants them, but that is no excuse to us the mechanic in every game as if all men want that. There are multiple God of War games that have sex scenes with more than one woman. Sony allows its developers to further the the stereo type that every man wants more than one sexual partner in bed. Obviously if one sexual partner is sexy it is clearly sexier to have ten. The more the the merrier right?
Sex scenes aren't the only confusing part of this situation. Sexuality of video game characters over the years seem to crop up in weird scenarios. Halo is a game pretty devoid of female characters, but it didn't escape the increasing sexuality in games. Halo's Cortana exemplifies the sexual evolution that has occurred. Cortana went from a design that was nearly invisible and lacked any sort of feminine features to one of the curviest woman I have ever seen. It is hard to look at her without a jaw dropping -- daaaaamn girl. This could obviously be ignored, but I always found myself wondering, why is my AI so sexy?
Actually, take time to think about it. Cortana is no more than a guide. Her purpose in the Halo for the player is to explain to you where to go or explain what the player is doing. Even in the universe itself Cortana's functionality is to assist Master Chief. It seems when they went to upgraded her Chief had other ideas in mind. There is no functional purpose to make her a sexual object other than pure fan-service. Why on earth is my AI so jaw dropping she is going to distract me from the mission. I can't deny she is attractive.
Seeing sex or sexual figure in a video game has never consciously made me purchase a game. I can't speak for my subconscious I'll have to take that up with Freud if I ever cross paths with his ghost. What I can admit to is there have been games I have played where I realized I was sexually attracted to one of the characters. One in particular that stands out in my mind is Morrigan Asenland. For those of you who are not familiar with Morrigan she is a succubus from Darkstalkers. Morrigan is the definition of succubus a creature that is so lustful if is hard to ignore her -- uh -- features. She is a flirty powerful character that is created to make you desire her. While she isn't a reason I bought a game she does stand out to me as a character that can sexual excite me. I don't see fault in having sexual characters in games I just have a problem when game developers try and exploit this with actual sex.
Just because I find Morrigan an attractive character doesn't mean I want to see her in the act of having sex. It also doesn't mean you have to strip her down to a bikini. As a character design she wears just enough clothes that leave a little bit to be desired. It was also one of the main reasons I found Kasumi from Dead or Alive attractive when I was younger. She was covered enough to make me wonder what was going on underneath her clothes. Now she is out in a bikini with boobs trying to float to the moon and quite frankly I miss when she used to wear a bra.
I'm not trying to pick on anyone who likes these aspects of games, but for me they simply don't work. They are unappealing and take me out of the world I am trying to immerse myself in. If I don't desire an orgy in my real life I am sure as hell not going to desire it in a video game. It is a simple over looked concept.
I believe these sexual scenes in video games and the rewards attached to them further stereo type of men gamers. As a male gamer I am supposed to see sex as some sort of trophy. I am also suppose to be looking to have sex with more than one man or woman otherwise I am simply not manly enough. God forbid I like monogamous sexual encounters. Subtleties of sexual arousal seem to be gone in marketing they have forgotten sex isn't an achievement to be unlocked it is a normal part of human intimacy.