Thursday, September 10, 2009

The evolution of sex in video games

The folks at BioWare know more about sex in video games than pretty much anyone else in the business. They probably know more than anyone else about gay sex in video games, too; after all, three of their games--Jade Empire, Mass Effect and the upcoming Dragon Age: Origins--allow same-sex couplings.

As such, it shouldn't be much of a surprise to hear that when Jim Sterling over at Destructoid decided to write about the evolution of sex in video games, he called Mike Laidlaw, lead designer at the Edmonton, Alberta-based company.

"We're still battling ... the perception that games are for kids," Laidlaw told Sterling. "[But] if games are for kids and sex is not for kids, why is sex in games? To my mind, the hurdle to cross is to say, 'You know, games are not [just] for kids.' I'm not a kid, I probably burn a good three hours a night playing games. [I'm] married, comfortably happy ... definitely not a child."

Laidlaw knows he's not alone in thinking that games are no longer just for kids, but he also knows that more folks who feel the same way--especially journalists and other opinion-makers--are going to have to talk about it before everyone comes to understand that games, like movies, can be made for and enjoyed by consumers of all ages. "Just like there are movies for children and ... adults, there can be games for [children and] adults, too," Laidlaw said.

It doesn't sound like Laidlaw and his colleagues are going to rest on their laurels until that day comes, though. "Will we see more of [sex in games]? I hope so, I really do," he shared. "I mean, it's not a mandatory part of any experience, but is it something we should shy away from? I don't think so. It's part of the human experience, so why not? Does a game have to be about sex? No. Can it be in there? Sure. Why not?"

What do you think about all of this? Would you like to see more games with sexual content--especially sexual content involving same-sex couples?


Viewtiful_Justin said...

Sexual content in video games always made me feel a little dirty. And I'm no prude. I think it's a holdover from being trained to think that video games are for kids.

But I'd love to see more of it, honestly. It might help to dispel that myth.

Bryan Ochalla said...

I'm a bit like you, Justin - I've long been uncomfortable about it because, until recently, it's been so rare. I'd like to see more of it, but only where it's appropriate. (Whatever that means.)

I have to admit, though, I'm not sure most desginers/developers are mature enough to do it justice in most instances...

Kiara said...

For me sex content in any Download Games/Video Games/Online Games should be minimal since kids often are the ones playing games. And without guidance, they were not supposed to be exposed on those things, expect that they are able to understand already.

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