August 31st, 2008

Yesterday after the Fallout 3 demo we headed to the Sex in Video Games: A Comparative Study panel — which, unfortunately, was a sad excuse for a sex in video games discussion.

On the panel were Flynn Demarco from Gay Gamer (the one informed voice at the table), two guys from Pink Godzilla, and a Japanese sex game developer. Of the hour-long presentation, 35 minutes were taken up by an introduction that tried to sum up the entire history of sex culture in America and Japan. Included in that was a direct dis to Brenda Brathwaite (“If you ever see a used copy of Playboy: the Mansion, don’t buy it”) that made it even more clear the panel leaders had no clue about the people who spent time and effort setting a precedent in the field.

Granted, any panel is bound to come off thin when it tries to cover so much ground in so little time. It also didn’t help that the Japanese developer’s translator barely spoke English. But really, the onus should have fallen on the Pink Godzilla guys, who didn’t have an accurate understanding of the history of sex in games, and who asked the panelists general and too-varied questions. During the brief Q&A section, by comparison, a listener asked, “Do you think innovation in the field of sex games will come from mainstream developers or the porn industry?,” which was honestly the first really intelligent, constructive topic that got raises. The moderator’s response: “Woh.”

Tags: events, sex games

8 Responses to “PAX08: Sex in Video Games: A Comparative Study”

  1. None of your business Says:

    Bwahahaha silly buggers, post your fallout rants at that story.

    The last sentence is classic.

    “Woh”, hahaha, good work on the article.

    Leah in what appears to be a trouser friendly kiss to her father, incest? The antics of those wacky porn game types.

  2. Woodstock Says:

    Interesting question on whether the driver for sex games will come from the game industry or the porn industry – personally, I’d guess the latter. The game industry seems to be headed in other directions right now – with a huge focus on consoles, which will never have porn games in the US.

    The wide-open and expanding field in sex games, meanwhile, seems to be MMOs. And the MMO market is being entered by a lot of outside players – Disney, Lego, Google, and others. I saw this on Kotaku:

    It’s about a porn site getting into virtual worlds. It looks terrible, but I bet that’s where the growth in sex games will come from.

    I think we need a Beautiful Stranger game, stat.

  3. Darkpen Says:

    that picture is so wrong D:

    But yeah, sounds like the panel was made of fail. Was there anything worth noting about what the japanese dev had to say? Those H visual novels are pretty prominent in the Japanese PC market.

  4. Bonnie Ruberg Says:

    A beautiful stranger game, you say? How would that one go exactly?

  5. Woodstock Says:

    Well, much like the rudevirtual one in the article I linked. A game? Not so much, except in that all flirting is a game. A shared virtual space, more like, ideally with innate support for cybersex, but at the least a text interface for naughty chatting.

    In my experience, having a space that’s reserved for cybersex makes everything work much more smoothly – you know what everyone is there for, and anyone who is logged in at the same time you are is generally looking for the same thing. You might not connect, for a variety of reasons, but it definitely makes the social dance a little less awkward.

    In general, I think there’s huge room for expansion in the adult MMO market. The free-to-play, pay-for-items model is a great fit, and as can be seen in that Kotaku article, the bar for graphics isn’t high.

    Sadly, the initial investment will come from the porn industry, and we’ll probably end up with multiplayer versions of the poke-the-doll games rather than a truly well-envisioned product.

  6. Bonnie Ruberg Says:

    I mean, there are definitely environments like Red Light Center, and over there things get awkward specifically because everyone is looking for sex:

    Any thoughts on how to rectify that?

  7. Woodstock Says:

    Hmmm. I think as you said in that post, going all the way is part of the key. Be as explicit as possible, and don’t include coy things like “dancing” as a substitute for actual interaction. Give an easy, deep custom expression tool – not a “dance” emote or button, but a command that allows players to type a line about exactly what they’re doing to whom, in full salacious detail. Give everyone an easily publicly accessible profile that lists kinks, preferences, and preferred approaches and scenarios – but keep all that within the game, so that players feel that their private fantasies and fetishes remain mostly private. In line with that, foster a non-judgmental culture so that players can express their deepest desires without being harassed or even feeling “weird”. Create kink-specific areas where people can hang out looking for those who share their particular interest, as well as a central gathering spot for general meetups, and lots and lots of private rooms for anyone to use.

    My experience with sex-dedicated virtual worlds has been quite positive. Perhaps that’s because the ones I have experienced have been text-based for the most part – not only is that a lot easier in a tech sense, but anyone who is interacting in a text environment is already willing to put serious work into expressing themselves.

  8. Autoversicherung Says:

    Very good comments and pictures. My Favorit Blog. Thank you Autoversicherung

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