Obsidian thinks sex for sex’s sake is ridiculous

Sex is something that’s popping up a lot in games lately. Dragon Age: Origins and Mass Effect 2 will have it, Assassin’s Creed 2 will have it, and Alpha Protocol will have it. However, this doesn’t mean that the sex is being thrust into games for pure titillation. That would be ridiculous.

“I think the focus on sex solely as sex — or more specifically, the taboo it has — is pretty ridiculous,” says lead designer Chris Avellone. “I don’t see sex in games as an achievement to be earned, but as an experience, and I think Alpha Protocol delivers it as an experience first. There’s a lot of emotional depth in Alpha Protocol from bonding over mutual respect, friendship, questioning traditional loyalty (at points, quite extreme), and even what I would call ‘no-mances,’ which are devoid of romantic feeling entirely but provide a nice character arc for the player and the target, regardless.

“All of these aspects also change the flow of the game, the story, character’s attitudes, and can cause changes in your companions, missions, objectives, and even expose more of the backstory of you and your love interest.”

This seems to be a running theme with developers dabbling in sex. They are all quick to say it’s isn’t sex for sex’s sake. Let’s face it, though — gamers love pointless sexual chicanery, and I’m not entirely willing to believe that all this digital shagging has been included for a thoroughly artistic and higher purpose.

Jim Sterling