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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

Kotaku UK archive

…Blocks 2015/01/19 First Resident Evils Censored Changed Since 1996 2015/01/19 Meet New Man Charge Final Fantasy 2015/01/19 Now Five Generations Radeon Graphics Compared 2015/01/20 Smash Tourney Organiser Steps Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations 2015/01/21 One Reason Nintendo Hard Time New Ideas 2015/01/21 Sex Games Steam Censors 2015/01/21 Smash Bros Makes Mario Karts Notorious Items Lot Fun 2015/01/21 Tips Playing Resident Evil 2015/01/23 Rare Destiny Gun Nobody Seems 2015/01/25 Geforce Gtx 960 Review Sweet Spot Gpu 2015/01/26 Classic Board Games Better Video Games 2015/01/26 Protect Information Internet 2015/01/27 Best Start Assassins Creed Game 2015/01/27 First Hours Dying Light 2015/01/28 10 Reasons Link…

September 4th

…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 options, and indicating NPC sexual orientation (and flirtatiousness levels) in info boxes, the game is putting out there the idea that sex is a thing your PC might do for any combination of fun, profit, and love, depending on any number of whims, emotions, and circumstances.

Eric Heimburg over at Elder Game writes about the moment he realised that he…

Kill Screen archive

…porn stars and mexican wrestling kill screens indiecade superlatives

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  • May 2020

    …Kentucky Route Zero]

  • Inside Second Life’s Most Expensive Brothel – People Make Games (19:59)

    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

    Bo Ruberg | Keywords in Play, Episode 3

    …Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley in conjunction with the Berkeley Center for New Media and the Department of Women and Gender Studies. Prior to entering academia, they worked as a technology journalist, reporting on tech, video games, sex, and gender from 2005 to 2009.

    As a joint venture, “Keywords in Play” expands Critical Distance’s commitment to innovative writing and research about games while using a conversational style to bring new and diverse scholarship to a wider audience.

    Our goal is to highlight the work of graduate students, early career researchers and scholars from under-represented groups, backgrounds…

    June 22nd

    …of the concept and takes a particular look at fridging in the context 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…

    This Year in Videogame Blogging: 2021

    …Points Monthly Astrid Anne Rose examines Cyberpunk 2077‘s juvenile, yet sanitized and ultimately hollow approach to sex, sexuality, and sex work.

  • Spectacular | Bullet Points Monthly Autumn Wright struggles with 2077 as a work of hollow spectacle.
  • Other Flesh | Bullet Points Monthly Molly Zara-Esther Bloch describes how 2077‘s ‘braindances’ are an uncritical and transmisogynistic echo of an already fraught cyberpunk trope caught up in colonial flesh tourism.
  • Virtually Ideological: Neoliberalism, History and Resistance in the Video Games of 2020 | Jon Bailes Jon Bailes examines what games such as Cyberpunk have to say–or shy away from…
  • April 10th

    It’s not the sex so much that piques my curiosity (after all, it is only politely and very vaguely alluded to in New Vegas, with a blackening screen signifying the act). No – I am more interested in the way portrayals of sex, and the sex industry especially, are handled in the fictional worlds of video games.

    Eric Schwarz at the Critical Missive blog wrote about unreliable narrators and the application of such in Dragon Age II this week. He feels that, while “BioWare’s take on the unreliable narrator is rather unique…and BioWare deserve a lot

    May 5th

    …confront the Nazis America already had–and has.

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition Let Me Be A Hot Mess | Kotaku Kate Gray looks back at Inquisition‘s refreshingly real approach to sex, relationships, and agency.
  • “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