Sex, death and games

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Post: #16
I've watched movies that containted sex and violence, but have always, and still do, fast-forward those parts. I'm a big stay-at-home movie watcher.Grin

O.K., I'll give this a shot. Maybe I cracked down on you bit. My apologies. I recently had a big disscussion over at mac.the-underdogs.org on swearing(don't ask), and most guys just can't make or take a formal argument. It got irritating, and I didn't want to go in-depth here for fear of igniting something.

And no, originally I did not have a point. I was just giving my moral outlook.

Formal argument:

EXTREME violence (i.e. ripping someone's heart out), and pronographic material have no place in video games. Because, if it is wrong in real life, then why should it be right in fantasy? Furthermore, the act of creation is sacred and beatiful, so why should it be made vile by some back-alley game or movie?

Now, I'll be softer on movies because of w_read's argument, but a video game is, in many respects, not like a movie. It is interactive, and in many cases is not an art medium like a movie is.

"Most nutritionists say that Twinkies are bad. But they're not, they're very very good."
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Darkgold
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Post: #17
Quote:Originally posted by Dr. Light
...and in many cases is not an art medium like a movie is.

:argh: :envy: Woohoo...wont even go there.
(cause I'm sure someone else will)
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Post: #18
Quote:This thread is about game design right? If so, all replies should be on the original post.

David, I think there have been some "fringe" games during my years that used sex to sell. Remember "Strip Poker" series? Leisure Suit Larry, that beat'em up by Access (before they started to make Golf games). Also during the "multimedia age", we had games like "Virtual Vixens" and many other porn-based games. (Still do for all I know.)

Thinking of how I would incorporate sex into your game "Black Shades"... Like "The Bodyguard", I get to sleep with my boss? For me, I don't need to have sex in games because it is something that is easy to do (get ), but handling a rocket launcher and shooting it down the street is something I can't do. (Well, I could go to Cambodia to one of those many camps and do that for a fee.) So, my point here is I think a large group of gamers want to play games that allow them to do something they can't do in real life.

Haha true it doesn't make sense in a lot of games. I was thinking of games that do it more tastefully like Silent Hill 2 and Metal Gear Solid, where characters have some sort of sexual identity without needing huge breasts or skimpy clothing or anything like that. I don't think games need MORE of it, but I think in the games that try to have it (like Tomb Raider et al.) should try to make it less superficial and just incorporate it as part of the character's personality. However I do NOT think games should be based around sex or violence... i.e. when a game suddenly becomes non-fun when you get rid of the "adult content" (i.e. soldier of fortune) then you know there's something wrong.

Quote:That said, if you could build a game like The Sims, but improve the AI to such a level that it was like watching a real soap opera, then I would become interested. As "director", you have to use enough "spice" in your show to keep your ratings, but not too much that you lose sponsors or get people protesting. So, sex/love/relationships could be incorporated into a game like that, but I don't think I want to watch my two Sim characters "doing it" for 2 hours. Sure, the graphics at some point would make it like watching a video, but watching it "is lame" IMHO. (Kind of like the difference in watching sports and doing sports.) Perhaps, when technology gets to the point where you are ONE of the Sims (ie VR) then I think that genre will take off and be HUGE. You know, your typical FPS based on James Bond, and as Bond you get to do all the fun stuff as well. (Most likely even get to pick your co-stars.)

You're right. I'm not suggesting explicit sex though, I mean if they really wanted to make an 'adult' version of the sims they could just replace the 'adopt a child' command with 'make love' or something and blur it out like they do everything else, or just fade to black, or whatever. I wouldn't find it interesting at all but right now it just seems... cheesy.

Quote:Back to the subject. All of you must come to Japan to get your eyes open about game dev and design. There is a HUGE genre of games aimed at teen age boys, which are like "cartoon adventures" (based on anime). Magazines devoted to it, and everywhere you look, naked manga babes. Some kids are really into it (some adults too I would guess.) I admit when I first saw them I was amused but it wore off quickly. There are also other type of harder games using other genres. They do in fact sell (in very often, in the open.) Footnote: Japanese TV and media are just as open. (ie walk into a video store go to the new videos section and see "Harry Potter" box next to "Marry Potter" box.)

Most interesting to note is all of this ultra-violent and porn games, comics, TV in Japan doesn't really raise flags. (Only the insert of sublimanal stuff that make 1/2 the kids in the country puke do :0 ) However, as sometimes it is exported to the US, it has to be "censored." Take "Sailor Moon" cartoon of yesteryear. Lots of taboos for US TV.

One negative side to these type of games in Japan. The majority of them portray females as:
a. Sex slaves
b. Under 15-year old nymphos
c. E-Cup bust size (often combining a and b)
d. Under 12-year old innocents
For many grade school, teens and young men, this builds a "wrong image" of females in their minds. We had a little taste of this with Lara Croft, but that was pretty tame compared to what is in Japan. They make females like that because a.) the devs are geeks themselves b.) their target market are geeks.

I recommend you read the position paper by "Women Developer's Association" (something like that) on sex, porn, advertising, etc in the business. Their president once said, "We aren't against women that show their femenity (spell?) in games, but are against the silly usage of it. For example, an RPG has a dwarf, thief and female warrior. The men are all wearing plate armor while the female is wearing a wire-thin bikini. Why would she do that?" Not exact words but you get the gist.

Well, I will sign off by saying -- Make the games you want to play. That said, keep in mind if you want to reach the largest possible market (or ever get a sweet heart deal like Brian), shoot for the "norm." Unless your market is Japan.

I agree with all of that, I am not a huge fan of the superficial silliness of ridiculous bikini armor (like in diablo) but I don't really mind it either. Whatever floats their boat Smile But I think it's kinda silly how in most games the characters have no relationship at all with each other unless they are mortal enemies. The characters are all totally emotionally asexual. I mean even Lara Croft as far as I know has never had a boyfriend. I don't want them to show them having sex or making out or anything but would it kill them to have some kind of personality? The Indiana Jones movies are a good example of adding some kind of relationship just to make him a deeper character with more believable objectives.

Quote:I've watched movies that containted sex and violence, but have always, and still do, fast-forward those parts. I'm a big stay-at-home movie watcher.

O.K., I'll give this a shot. Maybe I cracked down on you bit. My apologies. I recently had a big disscussion over at mac.the-underdogs.org on swearing(don't ask), and most guys just can't make or take a formal argument. It got irritating, and I didn't want to go in-depth here for fear of igniting something.

And no, originally I did not have a point. I was just giving my moral outlook.

That's alright. I could discuss swearing also Smile I think it makes emotions more plausible when used prudently (i.e. if the main character accidentally cuts off his hand) but is ridiculous when just randomly inserted everywhere (i.e. Blood Rayne).

Quote:EXTREME violence (i.e. ripping someone's heart out), and pronographic material have no place in video games. Because, if it is wrong in real life, then why should it be right in fantasy? Furthermore, the act of creation is sacred and beatiful, so why should it be made vile by some back-alley game or movie?

Now, I'll be softer on movies because of w_read's argument, but a video game is, in many respects, not like a movie. It is interactive, and in many cases is not an art medium like a movie is.

Ah ok. I think extreme violence is alright sometimes when it's sort of tongue-in-cheek like in Mortal Kombat, where they just have it for its over-the-top absurdity. I mean maybe I just have a sick sense of humor but I thought it was funny to rip my friend's leg off and club him to death with it, and so did he. It gets old after a while though.

I think it's fine to be able to do what ever you want in a game, because real-life morals don't apply. The characters simply don't exist. If someone wanted to make a game where you pointlessly torture someone... fine. I personally wouldn't play it, but I don't see anything inherently wrong with killing or otherwise harming non-existant people. I generally prefer games with some sort of justification... like you've been hired to protect someone, or the people you shoot are trying to destroy the world, etc. but games like GTA 3 are fun and have their place.
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Post: #19
Quote:Woohoo...wont even go there.
(cause I'm sure someone else will)

Hehe I guess I might as well go there... I think games are essentially interactive movies, and are just as much art as any other discipline.
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Post: #20
I agree with David, I think it should be more acceptable to include sexual relationships in games if the story requires it. The actual sex doesn't need to be depicted, but sexual interactions form quite a basis for a lot of human relationships and if it would help explain a character's motivations and actions it would be appropriate.

To give an example, in the game I am working on now the player is a Vampire Hunter but also a Dhampir (half vampire half human). To make the player a little bit special in the story I wanted to give them a unique birth/conception. So I hit upon the idea of making her human mother being turned into a vampire by her vampire lover right at the point of conception. The question then is how to depict this scene tastefully in an intro sequence.

On the note of ridiculously dressed female warriors in games - I've been designing the heroine of this game with practical considerations at the forefront of my mind. Her armour will be light but sturdy, probably treated leather. Certainly no bikinis, loincloths or short skirts!
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Post: #21
I was just playing a game that's a lot like that called Blood Rayne , have you tried it? Although that one has some rather silly outfits Cool

I suppose you could put them under a cape or a blanket for that scene... I generally think of 'tasteful' as a scene where little kids who don't know anything about sex wouldn't be able to figure out what's going on. Because if you already know about it there's not much to hide is there.

Or just make it really dark except for their heads or something. I don't know Huh

Oh yeah and if this is based on blood rayne I could offer some suggestions but that would be in a different thread.
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w_reade
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Post: #22
If we're up for a formal argument (on a strictly polite and academic basis):

Videogames and movies├ľ sorry, but you can't apply a blanket definition and say that movies are art and games aren't. Some movies (and some games) are mindless trash with nary a redeeming feature... but some games (and some movies) are works of sublime beauty on various different levels. The addition of interactivity, in my opinion, gives games even more potential than movies as a medium of expression.

I admit that no-one has produced a mature game about sex, but I firmly believe it is possible - after all, this is a medium in its infancy. Humanity has been writing and painting for millennia, and we can do those pretty damn well; the moving picture is more recent, but we've still had some practice at it, and can turn out some fine works.

Games are barely toddling - in movie-evolution terms, we're not that far beyond the zoetrope. We're approaching the point of diminishing returns with eye-candy, and when people are no longer wowed by intestine-perfect disembowelments (ETA: SoF5 Rasp), I expect there to be surges of creativity in wholly unexpected directions. At the birth of film, a train rushing towards the screen was amazing enough... but after a while people started to demand plot, characterisation, truth, beauty and all the rest of it. Compare right now, where you can shoot people and the bodies flop realistically├ľ this is great technical craftsmanship, but pretty soon it'll stop being impressive, as will photorealistic direct-your-own-porn-movie games, when they come along (which they will...)

Perhaps it won't happen for a while, but gaming (as a medium) has the potential to produce great art. I don't know how; I don't know when. I do have faith that the power is there, and that some human being somewhere will understand and use the interplay of game and gamer to communicate on the same level, with as much force, as any great artist or composer.

Many artistsin many media are communicating feelings about death or sex with their work - some explicitly, others less so. To say that these fascinating and eternal subjects are inappropriate for this artform hobbles creativity needlessly.

Some things may be inappropriate in certain circumstances, but it's hard to say precisely what. I'm just going to quote you, if you don't mind...

Quote:Because, if it is wrong in real life, then why should it be right in fantasy?


Because fantasy would be dull, and bear no relation to any real-life situation, if the only choices for any character were morally "good" ones. Without conflict of some sort, there can be no drama, and human conflict (as we all know) makes for very good drama. This is often played out with a hero/villain situation... but if your villain is not allowed to do anything villainous, then there can be no moral justification for thwarting him.

A similar argument applies to player actions - in Fallout, I can be "good" or "bad", and have to reap the consequences, and that lends my actions some moral weight. However, if certain actions in a game are necessary to continue, then they have no moral weight - it's the equivalent of doing something under duress in the real world. These necessary actions may mean a game is more or less "tasteful", but they cannot be intrinsically immoral.

I have no argument (other than commercial) for "pornography" in videogames, but I don't wish to forbid "explicit sexual content", which is not necessarily pornography, and may have artistic value somewhere down the line. As for extreme violence, my argument is again that is has inspired (and sometimes been depicted in) great artworks in various other media, and so should not be automatically branded unacceptable.

Just more thoughts... Wink

[edit - oof, 5 posts late]
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Post: #23
Quote:Originally posted by David
I was just playing a game that's a lot like that called Blood Rayne , have you tried it? Although that one has some rather silly outfits Cool

I suppose you could put them under a cape or a blanket for that scene... I generally think of 'tasteful' as a scene where little kids who don't know anything about sex wouldn't be able to figure out what's going on. Because if you already know about it there's not much to hide is there.

Or just make it really dark except for their heads or something. I don't know Huh

Oh yeah and if this is based on blood rayne I could offer some suggestions but that would be in a different thread.


Hope this isn't getting too off topic, but I guess we're still talking about game design. My game would be quite different in style to Blood Rayne (hadn't heard of it before you pointed it out) and quite different in plot, mine being set in a made up world etc. Having a Dhampir as a hero/heroine isn't a very original concept, but it makes for great ambiguity of intention.

As for the depiction of the sex, I was thinking it could be dark and only a head shot. Afterall, if he's going to bite her neck you only need to see their heads right? The problem is making it look passionate without making it go too far.

But maybe it wouldn't be necessary to show it at all? Maybe it could be told through simple narration. Either way it is introducing sex into the story not just for the sake of it. I think so anyway.
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Post: #24
Quote:Originally posted by Dr. Light
<snip>...
Just wait until the young 'uns are mature enought to handle it in a um.. mature way. I wasn't starting an argument, or at least didn't intend to, just giving my moral viewpoint.
<snip...>

I would agree, I think I'm going to try and keep R rated movies away from my son until he is at least 14 then I think I'd like to watch them with him just in case, might be handy to have an older person around to hit the stop button. I remember watching .. I think it was day of the living dead when I was 12 and it messed up my sleeping pattern for weeks.. maybe even months.
I might be a bit naive about this since I'm only new to fatherhood.
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Post: #25
Quote:Originally posted by monteboyd
As for the depiction of the sex, I was thinking it could be dark and only a head shot. Afterall, if he's going to bite her neck you only need to see their heads right? The problem is making it look passionate without making it go too far.


The deepest shadow holds the most pleasure. After all, a woman has a black void between her legs that no man can ever reach unless she lets him, right? In short, have it dark and reveal a thigh or so in well light and then fade, then depict her from the collar bone on up (naked of course) while the vampire guy slowly makes his move (the biting of the neck ). Follow that by whatever you want. Sex for cinematography (sp?) sakes such as an intro doesn't have to be realistic, just believable enough to get the idea.
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Post: #26
Quote:Originally posted by Dr. Light
Furthermore, the act of creation is sacred and beatiful, so why should it be made vile by some back-alley game or movie?

I have disagree. Creation is not "sacred" or "beautiful." Otherwise all animal would be sacred and beautiful. But sadly, the platypus is kind of ugly. And creation CAN NOT be sacred if ANYTHING on the planet can do it. Amoeba's can create via asexual reproduction. Is that beautiful and sacred? What makes our species any more sacred at performing the same acts as bears and deers? Now if you extend yourself beyond procreation, and have a platonic view on love and such, then okay. But then you also see no reason for marriage. Plato's theories on relationship and marriage are well known. If you don't know, the simple answer is no. If you can prove to me through reason, that creation is sacred and beautiful, I will withdraw all my arguments and let this drop and test your latest version of your game Grin
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Post: #27
David, said "him a deeper character with more believable objectives." What are ya talking about? You mean Lara doesn't have believable objects? Grin

Oh, objectives. Got that wrong. Sorry.

Ah, I think many of you want to see a game made by a mind that combines "Taratino, Kubick, Geiger and Barker." I recall a pretty greasome game that was very Geiger-like. Can't recall the name and sorry for the wrong spellings.

"The deepest shadow holds the most pleasure." I just picked myself off the ground. When I read that I burst into laughter and 100 Japanese businessmen turned to look at me. ("Oh, the American has lost it now, he will surely pull out his hidden gun and kill us all.") That sounds like some movie tag line.

Anyone see or read "Ghost in a Shell"? That manga/anime artist is interesting and I admit, I wouldn't mind seeing more things like that. (When my wife isn't home of course.)

I'll give you a good example of using "this" stuff right. Look at Defender of the Crown when the "lady" moves towards you. Breathtaking, even for us non-geeks. Also, "Rising Sun" I think it was called, by the same developer.

>I think I'm going to try and keep R rated movies away from my son until he is at least 14
Rolleyes
I think your father said the same thing, and his father and so on. Wink

>I think it was day of the living dead when I was 12 and it messed up my sleeping pattern for
>weeks.
That's nothing, try living in an old New England home that had a death in it by a previous owner and one night having a cold breathe touch your neck. To this day when I sleep I have to cover my neck because I'm afraid of vampires.

>Sex for cinematography (sp?) sakes such as an intro doesn't have to be realistic, just
>believable enough to get the idea.
The example here is Physco's shower scene. One of the most scariest moments of a movie. A.H. didn't show the knife going in and out like today's movie, but use his skills to scare ya buts off.

Question, suppose we have a game like the WarCraft series, or any RTS game based on dark-ages/middle-ages/fantasy/northern Europe. Would the game be better or worse, if the AI sends in his bandits into your town to "To crush you, see your men driven before him, and to hear the lamentation of your women! " All that vividly played out on the screen. Hmm..

Carlos A. Camacho,
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Post: #28
When I was about seven I decided there's no point in being afraid of monsters or murderers when you're sleeping because if it's there it'll kill you if you're awake or not so you might as well ignore it. Unless you have a gun under pillow and want to stay away all night aiming at the door.
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Post: #29
Very interesting discussion, but I'm estimating that Goodwin's Law will assert itself within a couple days Wink.

I went searching for a relevant quote from someone who... well, we'll just say he's more related to uDG than one might guess. I figured: "sex, violence, 'sacred events', story telling... he has to have said something relevant about this at some point". Unfortunately the most relevant thing I could find was a rant on the stupidity of the current television ratings system. feh.

"He who breaks a thing to find out what it is, has left the path of wisdom."
- Gandalf the Gray-Hat

Bring Alistair Cooke's America to DVD!
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griffin239
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Post: #30
I agree with the original post and to it I add:
AMERICA IS SICK.
because
SICKNESS SELLS!

The popular media does not want the average human to feel
normal about sex or nudity, because then their advertising won't work anymore,
there will be zero seduction to it.

Moral zealots do not realize the harm they do with their
closed minds. They stand up against the naked human body
and the act of human bonding but do little to nothing
to curb the enviromental, and mental pollution of the world
as it threatens to fall apart everyday while they are distracted
by nipples and penises.

Since we are game developers I say:
Hey if you can invent a game, totaly out of the norm, a game
about meeting and bedding the opposite...or same sex...more power to you.
If you can make a game like Picture me Pickachu..only with hot bodies...I'm all for it.

I'd love to boot up a game version of Girls Gone Wild or Mardi Gras on Bourbon Street..if it wasn't trash..which most sexual oriented games devolve into. I've seen a number of these on the shelves at, are you ready for this? VIRGIN Megastore. Go figure. I even borrowed two from a friend, horridly lame things made in Director, there's more sexuality in a split peach than those games.

I'm all for playing naked fare competitive sports as opposed to watching some brute pound
the life out of some bouncing breasted teenage ninja girl.

I would love to be able to get the cable turned back on and let my
daughter see naked people telling jokes, the news, or anything not too ..penetrating....
rather than flip channels to find 1 million rounds of ammo being fired
or some serial killer being hunted, or a rape or sexual harrasment trial Or the glory days of war told by the king of Crack Cocaine Oliver North on the History channel!

The year is 2003, its time to GET OVER THE HUMAN BODY.
Get human priorities straight.


"Nothing to see here people, move along"


Of course....there is a flip side...I'm American and I LOVE MY VIOLENCE, like I love my Coffee and Cigarettes and all my other vices which I've had in my hand since I can remember (all of them).

But given a chance to make something different, something non violent, something with sex that didn't exploit anyone in particular...that would be a great challenge.

Thanks for bringing up the topic.
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