This is a response to the Polygon Friends List video posted on April 25, 2014.
This post marks the first of a new series entitled “#QT3DSpeaks“, which offers response articles and videos to proposed questions in the gaming community.
Disclaimer: Since this is a highly sensitive topic and there are those who can’t handle such topics in a positive and informative way, extra moderation of comments and replies on my social media channels where this post exists are in effect.
I would like to thank Friends List for speaking on this difficult issue and giving an awesome show with intellectual discussion. Here’s the rundown of what the show talked about and the embedded video:
Phil Kollar and Megan Farokhmanesh mentioned these games tackling sexuality: Conception 2 (Atlus), Mass Effect (Bioware), Dragon Age (Bioware), Persona (Atlus), Catherine (Atlus), Killer is Dead (Grasshopper Manufacture) and The Sims (EA). All of these games don’t have straight sex scenes but have cutscenes and/or gameplay that suggest a type of sex is happening. In other words, a game does not have to have AO rated content to explore sexuality because AO rated games may have explicit sex scenes or heavy suggestive themes.
Atlus games have more relationship-based gameplay that ties into the storyline and missions such as the game franchise Persona. You have to get to know your characters through various interactions and then you are rewarded. Catherine, however, explores other sexuality themes such as cheating and other morality and insecurities of being in a relationship but through the perspective of a hetero-male.
Phil’s wishful thought: have gameplay more fluid with suggestive themes. Megan’s wishful thought: women should be less objectified and tell more stories from a woman’s perspective. Both agree that perspectives are important and having multiple types of relationships explored in video games are healthy.
The #QT3D Response:
Sex =/ Sexuality. Sexuality is exploring social relationships with your flavor of intimacy. That’s the difference. It’s perfectly fine for developers to explore different types of relationships, character development, and include more adult-themed scenarios. In fact, developers need to do more of this because we as a human species explore an infinite amount of social scenarios and have fetishes, etc. If games, in some retrospect, mimic our culture, our thoughts, our feelings, our morality, our values, our environment, our spirituality, our love, our hate, our empathy, our ignorance and our brilliance, then why can’t they also mimic our social interactions?
Having more of something DOES NOT MEAN replacing something already in existence. If you, as a gamer, don’t want to have different experiences playing games, then by all means IF IT DOESN’T APPLY, THEN STAND ASIDE! But this approach is for the gamers longing to try something different. There is no problem for the masses and no one is trying to create one. But there is a lack of variety for those ADULTS looking for something more than what they have played.
What is your opinion on a lack of sexuality explored in video games?