Bad Romance: Love in the Time of Videogames

Videogame graphics, animation, and writing have never been better. So why do they still so often get love stories wrong?

Examples of love in videogames abound, from Harvest Moon's set of collectable wives to Mario's Sisyphean quest for the elusive Princess Peach. And certainly, games feature more sex now in the HD era than ever before, from the tasteful applications (the one-night stand in Mass Effect) to the simply titillating (Dante Inferno's exquisitely rendered corpse-boobies).

But genuine, believable romance -- an intimacy between two characters that can be passionate or pragmatic; long-simmering or sexually explosive -- remains elusive in all but a select few titles. And for good reason: Writing love stories is hard.

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