Obsidian: Not having sex in RPGs does genre 'an injustice'

Destructoid has been speaking with Chris Avellone, lead creative designer on the intriguing spy-themed RPG, Alpha Protocol. They've all heard by now that Alpha Protocol will be following in BioWare's footsteps by providing gamers with some "tasteful" sex scenes, and naturally Destructoid wanted to dig a little deeper. They asked Avellone what he thought of the role sex plays in videogames, and whether the erotic elements are there just for the sake of being salacious.

"I think it's an important step, and it's not sex for sex's sake, but it's part of human interaction that makes you more involved in the game world and your characters," he says. "Just like in the real world, sex runs the range from entertainment to a symbol of the depth of feeling between two people, and not having that reflected in a role-playing experience feels does RPGs an injustice."

Read Full Story >>
The story is too old to be commented.
Cwalat3362d ago

I agree,

i mean it IS called "role playing game" :P hehehe

Syronicus3361d ago

I enjoyed countless other RPG's that blew my mind despite there being no sex involved. If anything it's another way for games to get closer to real life but in actuality it's nothing like real life.. No RPG is and nor should they be. It's all about the fantasy, not how real they can be.

Myst3362d ago

You know I agree with this article, to an extent it is nice if it is done right. I'm finding that Mass Effect's way of presenting it is pretty nice, though I feel because of the choices it makes it rather easy to get with one of two or three if your a female character.

All in all games that present the reality of human mentality and paradigm could make for a great game; that is if it is done right of course.

kaveti66163362d ago (Edited 3362d ago )

I disagree completely with this article. Call me a prude, and I guess I am, but to me gaming and sexuality are two very different disciplines. Most gamers are probably too fond of sex scenes because they're not getting any, but it's really not a big deal to have it, and is completely unnecessary. Here's my theory on it. Sexuality doesn't help advance the story. Obsidian can represent two characters falling in love or copulating in a very quick, fleeting scene. They don't need to show parts or mimic suggestive moments to the point where the f*cking ESRB rates the game higher.

Truth is, I don't really have a problem with it now that I think about it, but when I was 10 through 12, the only way I got games was by asking my mother. And she was well-aware of the ESRB ratings because my older sister loves telling her these things. There are so many games that I wasn't able to buy and play first-hand because of sexual themes, including GTA. And to be honest, maybe it's not the worst thing in the world to monitor what your child is doing. I don't even like watching sexually suggestive scenes in movies. It ruins the legitimacy of that movie as a quality artform.

Example, the scene in Transformers II where Megan Fox's character is working on her motorcycle in the oddest manner - by sitting on the motorcycle seat with her ass in the air and leaning over the bike to fix something. I don't quite remember what she was fixing, because that film's only purpose was to say, "Hey, look, Megan Fox is here. Aren't you glad you watched this? Oh, and later on a sexy hot robot chick will also be here to make out with Shia Labe.... the main character Sam Witwi... Megan Fox's boyfriend."

This problem has been sabotaging films for years. Remember when there was a time when films didn't portray sexuality so much? Oh, you don't? Well, decades ago a lot of films actually used to be good, but now sex sells more than quality titles, and the people who disagree with me need to really set aside their preference for boobies and think about what I'm saying. When game developers have more freedom to show sexuality they will probably stop caring so much about the quality of the story. It happened to films, and it will happen to games. Mark my words. I'm not saying that watching porno or naked chicks is going to ruin a child. That's all conservative BS. But I honestly think that sexuality will become too popular and thus overshadow other aspects of gaming.

Tony P3361d ago

I'd argue that your views on sex are what ruin it for you. Not the sexual content itself. The way people deal with and even discuss sexual relationships is pretty immature, especially in the US historically. Something as omnipresent and indicative of the human experience should never be a taboo subject. It should have never been demonized. Now the entertainment industry is overcompensating to make up for it.

I think the goal here is to get to a place where you can mention sex in your body of work without having to dance around the subject like a shy school boy when you're an adult. It will not hurt your idea or render your writings illegitimate just to mention it. And in fact it can help your plot like any other device so long as you want to do more than show a boob.

Sex doesn't need to be in everything, but the prudish perceptions of it need to change at some point.

Myst3361d ago

I understand your sentiments, but as for me sometimes the act of showing sexually suggestive scenes is a lot better than seeing a full on sex scene. The way the artists can present it in a tasteful manner is quite intriguing in some aspects and makes it look almost beautiful as watching the sun rise upon the horizon or something of the sorts.

Through your example you presented I wouldn't say it was an artistic way of putting her, but perhaps not the same way as some other artists video game ones may think of it. Another example of one that was popular only by focusing on the body far to much is perhaps Resident Evil 5 at one point, when they have Chris in the distance and Sheva walking towards him, her behind goes right into the camera and you can pretty much see her shaking it all the way to the elevator.

True sexuality or at least an artistic way of presenting it can be a loaded gun that may or may not be pointing at the director(s) foot, but if they are talented enough to do it in a way to make it tasteful it can be pulled off right. Case Mass Effect by Bioware, I would trust them to do it in a meaningful and tasteful manner (again). I don't think NeverWinter nights two or one for that matter had any of the sexual scenes portrayed in game like Mass Effect, but it had sexual themes and I still don't really recall much of any, but found it to be rather good.

With proper dialogue and even a set up for it, it can be a rather interesting idea for games. Picture not completely related, but it's from fable 2 and the dialogue that is said from the point on is quite interesting, if the same is said during a sexual encounter scene that is not just random and well thought it, it could be a beautiful thing.

AAACE53361d ago

I'm still a bit confused why you feel that way! Sex is a normal part of human nature.

We as modern day humans were born into societies that have built a certain level of moral judgement. But during that process, we have become more ashamed of our natural selves.

The first humans that walked this earth were not ashames of being naked and I can almost guarantee you they didn't care where they had sex or who was watching! But for some reason us humans nowadays seem to forget our origins.

I'm sorry, but if I see 2 people having sex, i'm gonna watch! Hell, if I see 2 animals having sex... i'll watch that too... and probably laugh a bit!

The truth is, that's why you have so many people who need therapy and such, because they aren't allowed to be the person they are. Sex is one of the main reasons we are on this planet!

You wanna know the purpose of life? It boils down to 3 things. Birth, Reproduction and Death! I hate to sound jaded, but everything else was created to keep us occupied until then(Jobs, sports, shopping, etc.).

Woah... got off topic a bit...

Sex in games is a great thing in my opinion... as long as you can keep it away from kids!

kaveti66163361d ago

I'm not ashamed of sex, guys. What I mean to say is that lazy developers will exploit sex in order to get more attention and sales while at the same time neglecting to make the content meaningful. I'm just thinking that the quality of games might take a hit because developers might think all they need to do is add raunchy content with not much else. There are some films that people see only because they have been told that the actor or actress is going to be in a nude scene or a sex scene, and I don't want the developers to take advantage of the fact that teenagers (who have raging hormones) will buy it just for the sex. Do you understand what I am saying? For me, a couple of the greatest films I have seen in the past few years are "No Country for Old Men" and "Children of Men." But I think films like American Pie and Transformers 2 get far more undeserved attention because of Megan Fox or a chick showing her cans. Listen, you guys are saying that if a sex scene or nudity is done in a tasteful manner then it's all right. I agree with that, but you have to understand that I have yet to see sex and nudity in films that were done in a tasteful manner that contributed to the story. Never.

Myst3361d ago

Ah, yes I know what you mean kaveti6616, but I didn't know if the assumption would have been right or wrong. True many developers have used it as a selling point in many games. You know what bubbles just for saying No Country for old men, but what about There will be blood :(? Joking aside I see your point clearly now.

True on word of mouth alone whether video games or movies if it has sex it will sell, no point in trying to deny what is reality. A look at the American lifestyle and the shows presented on Television, it's rather hard to put in a tasteful manner at least in my eyes. Some movies (I probably have not seen) may have done it right, but until then not a lot of them got it completely right. Though I will admit some indie ones have a good grasp on it. Lost and Delirious (Indie) welled up emotions in me just as it did the character it was done to. I thought the whole movie was done rather well and the sex scene actually did something to the plot in a small as a manner as it was it still helped.

Overall the mentality we have (United States) of fast cars, loose women (at least I think it's close to what we have) needs to change in order for some to take it a bit more serious. No doubt some developers will slack off because of sex, but the same could be said about violence in a way. There are just some games I just won't touch because violence had been taken over for a good story

Tony P3361d ago (Edited 3361d ago )

Kaveti, it would definitely be abused since sex sells. No question. But not all devs will do it for the same reasons not all devs abuse the use of gore.

Games like Thrill Kill and Manhunt haven't lowered the bar for everyone else at all because the industry thrives on games rated T and lower. It's the Guitar Heros, Monster Hunters, and Wii Fits that sell so many millions in large part due to broad appeal. As much as sex sells, publishers and devs aren't likely to pass up another rich market just to show you a bare chest or bum.

Besides that, a quality dev is a quality dev. Bioware does not want to give you another "Hot Coffee". They only want to tell you a good story without having to ignore the elephant in the room because of undue censorship. It will be the mediocre devs that want to shove sex down your throat because they can. Their games probably weren't worth playing in the first place.

Look at Lara Croft. She was the iconic game girl of the 90s. But a big chest only gets you so far when your games start to go downhill. So I don't think devs will ignore substance.

A HiFi3361d ago (Edited 3361d ago )

You all make good points and you all get bubbles from me. =p

I like Nuri's point of sexual themes being explored artistically and Tony P's Lara Croft example!

Sex should be explored in video games, but not to the point that gamers are imploring for sexual gratification from every game. Like movies, I'm sure there will be certain genres which approach sex in different styles very soon. Heck, we've already had Leisure Suit Larry for some time.

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 3361d ago
El_Colombiano3362d ago

"and the people who disagree with me need to really set aside their preference for boobies"

I like boobs.

INehalemEXI3361d ago

orbital boobies would be crazy.

shutupandplay3361d ago

I thought the sex in Mass Effect was very tasteful, talking to Ashley after every major mission, with the best dialogue ever, slowly led up to the 30 second scene in the end. Very well done, but that didn`t stop FOX news from slandering it. Hahaha, I remember when we all ganged up and brought Cooper Lawrence`s book rank down on good times.

Show all comments (21)
The story is too old to be commented.