Monday, 3 June 2013

Does sex sell games?

Having now watched two of the Tropes in video gaming series, which should be at least interesting to everyone unless you are a sexist asshole (if you are, piss off). I realised that the writing and questing in mmo’s is is actually pretty none misogynistic compared to the general game market. From WoW to Neverwinter to LOTRO it is all remarkably gender neutral plotting. Hell half of the Guild Wars 2 narrative super team Destiny’s Edge are female.

It made me feel a little less ashamed of being a bloke when I thought of this, but then the internet kicked me in the balls with the reminder that mmo’s can be shamefully sexist. MMO armour for females even in games like GW2 and WoW can be pretty damn skimpy, and then I remembered the likes of Scarlet Blade exists. This being a game that takes the sex sells approach of having entirely female characters with giant boobs wearing pretty much nothing. Not that I am convinced that with games sex does sell.

Hell Second Life players can literally make their characters have sex with each other, but that game hasn't got anywhere near the number of players other, “non interactive” mmo’s have. I certainly think that while sex can certainly play a part in a game narrative (I have blogged about this before), using it as an actual selling point is crass and perhaps more importantly not that successful. We are living in the modern connected age were pictures and video of exotic (and down right weird) sexual material are merely a couple of clicks away, so why would anyone chose to play a third rate mmo (or other game) with naked women in, over a quality game with (mostly) clothed females.

I actually had a Lady Death skin for my Saints Row The Third (a fairly equal opportunity smutty game) character, but ended up turning it off as it was distracting.Humm I haven’t gotten off track a little. I guess what I am saying is that pornography serves a purpose, a purpose that games don't need to try and squeeze into (pun totally intended). There is no harm putting sex into games for narrative purposes, but I don't need to see acres of flesh on every character to enjoy a game.

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