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Achievement Unlocked: Sex!

Alex Raymond, of the While !Finished blog at the Iris Gaming Network, explains how games have established a rather simplistic view of relationships in her post “Women Aren’t Vending Machines: How Video Games Perpetuate the Commodity Model of Sex“:

What the vast majority of these games inevitably do is present relationship mechanics that distill the commodity model down to its essence-you talk to the NPC enough, and give them enough presents, and then they have sex with/marry you.

This design approach is extremely simplistic and perpetuates the commodity model of sex-the player wants sex, they go through certain motions, and

September 4th

…real. The ‘easter egg’ style gags with the trans sex workers at the Pearl were clearly meant as ‘mature’ jokes for a ‘mature’ audience that could handle this ‘reality.’

At the blog Your Critic, Kate Cox looks at Fable III in ‘Let’s Talk About Sex!‘, examining instances in games in which sex can be used as more than just a story arc:

Still, the real surprise for me with sex in Fable III is not that it exists; sex is implied in plenty of games. The surprise is that its existence is announced independently. By adding “sex” to the bed…

Kill Screen archive

…tablets can tell emotional realistic stories

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  • May 2020

    Quintin Smith takes a tour of Monarchy – allegedly the “most expensive” brothel in Second Life – with the guidance of owner Meela Vanderbuilt, along the way interviewing other staff and discussing some of the practicalities and realities of virtual sex work. (Autocaptions) [Notes: contains embedded advertising, sexy discussions of sex]

    Why Is This Thing?

    “Here’s the deal with this cool thing I like” was the basis for a suite of interesting videos in May. And fair enough!

    • Why Do Horror Games Sound So Beautiful? – Jacob Geller (29:14)

      Jacob Geller highlights and celebrates the role of

    June 22nd

    …of Baldur’s Gate 2, where it treats the death of two characters, one man and one woman, very differently.

    Speaking of Anita Sarkeesian, the first in the next leg of her games-oriented Feminist Frequency videos, “Women as Background Decoration” has gone live. In it, she particularly challenges the repeated portrayal of women as sex workers to be used and discarded. (Content warning: apart from the scenes of sexual violence Sarkeesian warns for, I should note that some of the video’s language regarding sex work is poorly chosen and ends up, consciously or not, communicating the idea that sex work is…

    April 10th

    …of “just fun” on the game’s opening screen isn’t the defense of a speech act. It’s an excuse, one for being completely incapable of capturing even a sliver of Casey’s experience.

    At the Alive Tiny World blog Katie Williams has been writing a series for the past fortnight called The New Vegas Diaries. First a short story-esque piece about the character ‘Boone’ and then this week she talked about ‘Wasteland Romance’ and the how the game treats sex.

    It’s not the sex so much that piques my curiosity (after all, it is only politely and very vaguely alluded to in…

    May 5th


    “We don’t have to treat sex like something divorced from the narrative of the game, nor do we have to act like it only exists for the player’s enjoyment. Good sex in games, as rare as it is, should be about sex in context, with all the dynamics of power and personality that come with it.”

    Critical Chaser

    I’m renaming this section because “Just for Fun” doesn’t adequately describe everything I do with it. While sometimes I do include straight-up joke articles here, often the things I save for the end here do have a critical point

    August 12th

    …is Still Changing the Video Games Media – Variety Luke Winkie has a deep dive into how one site’s successful approach influenced the video and audio content strategy of major games press for a decade.

  • It’s Not Easy To Write About Funny (But Creepy) Sex Games | Kotaku Content warning: harassment Kate Gray talks about the role of humour as a self-defense tool when writing about games and sex.
  • “Generally, I’ve found that writing light-hearted or humorously about these issues results in less harassment, but it also feels like I’m hiding my true feelings behind a veil of jokes….

    Assassin’s Creed II

    …Ezio does that no other assassin does is leave the top of his robes open, revealing multiple collars and two necklaces. This leads me to believe that the designers wanted to show that his interpretations of the rules are a little loose, which fits with his fiery attitude.

    Analyzing heteronormative tropes in AC2, Denis Farr at Border House blog (archived link) quips that if Ezio himself has “quite a bit of sex […], at no point is he himself sexualized in a visual manner. Surrounded by women with ample cleavage and varying courtesans, his sexuality becomes a matter of performance.”…

    Dark Souls

    …the quality that ensured its ubiquitous metaphorization.

    “Dark Souls, like Franz Kafka, has created its own precursors”

    Is Dark Souls necessary, vital, canonical even? In “The Dark Souls of Idea Channel Episodes” , Mike Rugnetta unpacks the ubiquitous ‘Soulsian’ metaphor, with comparisons to Kafka and Borges. Christian Donlan reflects on the feeling of visiting Lordran as thoroughly mapped landscape. In “ Sex is Like Dark Souls ” Kris Ligman (editor note: Kris is our Director of Finance) writes of cultural and societal gatekeeping, and the ‘the ‘canon’ of human experiences’

    So when I say that ‘sex is like Dark Souls,’