I'm sort of disappointed that no one felt any need to comment on my zombie-PCXL posting, but not entirely surprised, as I was ranting about the resurrection of a 7-year-old magazine. Although it's worth noting that if PCXL -- in its original incarnation -- were still around today, I imagine it would be enjoyed by a good number of D-toid's readership.
Anyway, moving along to something dear to the hearts of PC Accelerator's former editorial staff (and readership) -- Sex and video games.
Sex in games has been around for about as long as the gaming industry itself, dating back to softporn text adventures (which, I'm sure, would have been the pinnacle of interactive titilation at the time), all the way up to today's often-more-than-mildly-creepy hentai games. But as the debate over whether games can and should be considered "art" rages stronger with each passing week, I can't help but wonder if there might be room for a more tasteful, more respectful, and (as much as I hate to say it) more artistic approach to weaving sex and sexuality into our virtual worlds.
You know when certain Hollywood actresses talk about how they'd be willing to do a nude scene if it was artistically vital to the film's story? Okay, that's often horsecrap, given some of the nude scenes some of these actresses have done, but that idea, that a video game could approach the idea of sex in a mature way, is what I'm going for.
And maybe we're already there, but for the life of me, I can't think of where I've seen it. Dead or Alive Extreme Beach Volleyball
? A jiggle-fest, to be sure, but a fairly immature one at that. And besides, it's not sex, it's just trying to be sexy. And also sort of creepy. Which it's probably not trying to be, come to think of it. The creepy is more of an unfortunate side-effect.
What about something like Fable
? It certainly wanted to *try* dealing with complicated subjects, but its approach to sex were either annoying wife-maintenance moments, or a giggling, innuendo-filled, cross-dressing experience. Again, not the sort of serious, mature, approach to sex that I'm looking for.
Believe it or not, one of the best implemented sex-moments may have been in GTA: San Andreas
. Sure, the whole dating, back to her place gimmick was a bit of a pain, but at least it felt like a real moment, that tastefully faded to black at just the right degree of innuendo to make sure you knew what was going down.
Then, of course, the whole "Hot Coffee" mod thing sort of ruined that tastefulness, but turning San Andreas sex into an incredibly unsettling mini-game (speaking of which, whichever developer or developers had a hand in that, you might want to keep it off your resume).
Maybe it's the larger-than-life nature of games and gaming that it difficult to implement sex in this way. Is it possible to create a larger-than-life-virtual sex experience that isn't either so over-the-top that it becomes comedy, or so in your face that it becomes porn? Worse yet, does the looming terror of the dreaded AO
rating keep developers from properly exploring this facet of their work? Is sex in games destined to remain as fap-fodder for those bored of streaming porn?
All I know for sure is this -- as much as I loved Bioshock, and as much it's one of the strongest arguments for "games as art" that I've yet seen, I'm glad it was, as far as I could tell, sex-free. Big Daddy getting all intimate is not
something I need to see.