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Will they? Won’t they? Actually, what are they doing? Why sex and games have yet to find the right way to hook up…
By Emma Boyes
I’m all for virtual sex in games – games aren’t just for children, whatever politicians and muck-raking newspapers believe. The problem is no one has ever managed to incorporate sex into a game in a way that doesn’t make me feel completely awkward. Take Fahrenheit (Indigo Prophecy) for instance. First of all we’re controlling Lucas Kane’s thrusting movements while he’s in bed with his ex-girlfriend after about five minutes of playing the game. Next thing I know, the ex is dead and he’s so sad he’s getting it on with Carla Valenti, the police detective that was investigating him for murder. They might both be fine with that, but I felt distinctly creeped out.
Then there’s Heavy Rain. One of the main characters, Madison Paige, is a sassy, resourceful photo journalist investigating the twisted ‘origami’ serial killer. Single dad Ethan Mars is on the run from the police and is their number one suspect. Momentarily losing all her brain cells, Madison finds something about ‘he’s probably a serial killer’ just does it for her and suddenly, seemingly without any kind of build up at all, they’re dancing the two-backed beast in a motel room? I’m so not feeling it, even though the scene itself was well done.
Lots of other games signify sexual relations by cheating and making the screen go black – what a let down. Call to the stand Fable II, which had a massive amount of hype concerning your ability to marry anyone and have a family and how this would make you feel attached to them and the game world. Sadly, the reality was that as all the characters were essentially caricatures whose affections were ridiculously easy to gain, in the end one partner was almost identical to another – it didn’t make me care about them at all. Sex was signified by the aforementioned black screen, a feature Peter Molyneux once attributed to the fact that “there’s something about nipples you [Americans] hate.”
Other games, like The Witcher, are obviously ridiculous – there are about 26 different, super hot women desperate to jump the bones of possibly one of the most unattractive and uncharming characters we’ve seen in games ever. Yeah, right. Dream on, boys, because videogames (and certain porn films) are the only place where that’s ever going to happen.
So far, it probably has been BioWare that has managed to make sex the sexiest, building up a genuine rapport between characters and a long, slow burn build-up before anyone gets to get anyone’s armour off…
This is just a small extract from the full feature in Issue Two. To read the entire article, click here to purchase the complete digital edition of Continue for just $2.99/£1.99/€2.25.