This week we get a bit scandalous and take a look into the sordid world of RPG’s and their ability to turn your next hour of Mass Effect into a Leisure Suit Larry set piece.
Let’s all be grown up here; sex is a beautiful and natural part of our everyday lives. The clothes we wear are more often than not determined by sexual orientation either through presentation or advertisement. The life partners we carefully interview normally fall into the categories of ‘Would’ and ‘Would Not Do’ (unless you’re asexual, ofc). And now, somehow, sex is becoming a commonplace in our RPG’s and a path of debauchery I will 100% choose to follow.
I ain’t no pervert, I just like what I like and pixels rubbing against each other is clearly my thing. And if you’re gonna design a game that allows me to have sex with a race of aliens then damn it I will groom that candidate until they’re on all fours and…well you get the idea. Let’s just say my Gamerscore isn’t the only thing popping every other night. In potentially every single RPG I have ever played I have tried to put my penis in something, and I know I’m not the only one.
Particularly in games based within fantasy and environments so grandly built up that you can traverse a fucking mountain, the option to explore romantic angles should you choose to shows an intelligent approach to game design – I feel, anyway. Here you have a world so enriched and detailed that you could meet the local shagbag (see here: Fable 2), then it’s an overwhelming feeling of freedom when the player can explore their own versions of sexual deviance. Particularly if these encounters can be followed away from the main story line in a sort of ‘I won’t tell if you don’t’ sort of scandal.
Looking at my time in Fable 2, before I got cripplingly evil and disfigured I enjoyed my time as the hottest bitch in town and would frequent all the beds of the Bowerstone Market locals making sure my presence was felt (heh) and my offspring flooded every street. Even the hookers in Fable 3 got a good going over from me and I contracted my fair share of sexually transmitted diseases.
Opposite to this though, if I have the choice to gallivant around mythical environments firing my hot firing balls of death at dragons and evil spirits, why should I be bogged down with the kind of sexual politics I tend to avoid in real life? If it doesn’t gain any additional growth (heh) in regards to the narrative and rarely even results in an achievement, why is it even there? I know these are fantasy titles, but is it possible that they would be the same if not better without the jarring insertion (heh) of sexual intercourse?
Look at it this way, in The Witcher 3, I could gain access to some poor unfortunate female’s groin by fetching her a bunch of wolf pelts. Honestly, even disregarding the problematic representation of gender and consent, that’s pretty misogynistic behaviour for a game that came out in 2015. Furthermore, in games such as Mass Effect 3, why did I piss away a disgusting amount of my hours trying to lure my entire ship upon my loins when the end result was as awkward and clunky as watching actual people being forced to fellate in front of me. In one particular exchange (heh) between Male Shepard and Liara it felt like they were in the middle of a fucking rave.
Even in the Grand Theft Auto series, sex and the selling of one’s body never deterred my need for sexual gratification. From the ‘happy to refund you’ prostitutes to that Hot Coffee scene that, lets be honest, we’ve all seen, sex and its involvement with the female race of characters was never for narrative purposes and was an outlet purely for sick fuckos like me to blow off some pixelated steam. Appallingly, I would pick up a least 2 prostitutes on average per every gaming session in Vice City.
The main issue here seems to be regarding the correct implementation (heh) of sexual acts. How do you put it in correctly (heh)? Is it wedged in (heh) so players can feel like they have been granted total freedom in their favourite video game kingdoms? Or is it just an empty gimmick designed to get people talking and comparing their virtual bed-notches?
I went on a little bit of a hunt for why these sorts of humanly depraving acts are included into video games, and I stumbled upon a fantastic breakdown of NPC sex similarities as defined by the wonderful TVTropes site. A favourite phrase of mine that they discussed is a player’s approach to gaming being a sense of ‘gotta screw them all’ style challenges – a competitive action I felt compelled me through my entire encounter with Huniepop. If you want to check out how they judge and mock your sexual in-game choices, here’s some light reading for you – Romance Sidequest, Level-Up at Intimacy 5, Hot Coffee Minigame, Deus Sex Machina.
At the end of the day, put sex in a video game and lonely people like me will hunt it down and reap all of its wonderful glorious benefits, even if it is for a ‘cut to black’ scenario where you find yourself sitting alone in bed listening to your TV screen moan and coo. And nowadays, you don’t even need to purchase the damn disc before being visually assaulted by magical unicorn sex scenes ala The Witcher 3’s announcement trailer.
For me, as long as it remains natural and entirely at my disposal, sex in RPG’s is a wonderful aspect of real life that can be explored and studied through the act of game play. The problems for me come from the inclusion of such acts into the main plot line when intercourse candidates are manipulated into relationship devices in order to force emotion and end game options from – this is where the role of women and men as sexual tools start to anger my very being.
Keep it simple, let me have sex with various vampires, a dryad, a half elf, some nurses and witch; but for god’s sake do not make me watch a cut scene where I shag a woman purely so she can be manipulated by the narrative later down the line as a vessel for emotional destruction and growth. That’s crossing a line for me.