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[Column] General: Sex & MMOs Part 1

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,588MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

Sex in MMOs is always a "hot" topic. In our latest Devil's Advocate, we tackle the subject with some interesting thoughts. See what we think before heading to the comments to add your own.

In my mind, sex as a sort of gameplay mechanic does not exactly make sense in the MMO world, not simply because of how it would play out, but because how would you reward such conduct in a game?

It may POSSIBLY work if you’re some kind of anime tentacle monster and your sworn racial enemies are scantily clad women who don’t know how to wear metal plated armor to cover their privates, but looks silly if you force people to engage in sex to level up or otherwise win a skirmish.

Read more of Victor Barreiro Jr.'s The Devil's Advocate: Sex & MMOs Part 1.

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
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Comments

  • 3-4thElf3-4thElf Elftown, MEPosts: 489Member

    So the advocating here is.. Here's some lyrics and thoughts; with a moral conclusion.

    I began playing MMOs with one goal in mind as an 18 year old EQ rogue. To stab things from behind. Well quite literally to help kill things and what have you.

    My peers found girlfriends, and we built guilds around fake royal relationships. Some turned real and others turned into awkward /tells in guild chat.

    Game companies don't have a lot of options for stabs from behind for points of damage anymore.

    Like any form of fiction, sex is there. Is there a comfortable conservitive way to approach it in games? Nope.

    So why try that approach?

    a yo ho ho

  • AntiquatedAntiquated Oak Brook, MIPosts: 673Member Uncommon
    bloodninja: Oh yeah, aight. Aight, I put on my robe and wizard hat.
  • trancefatetrancefate zionsville, INPosts: 134Member
    WTB LSLO! (Leisure Suit Larry Online)
  • mCalvertmCalvert Tallahassee, FLPosts: 1,283Member
    No mention of Leisure Suit Larry?
  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,453Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by mCalvert
    No mention of Leisure Suit Larry?

    Yeah I was thinking the same thing. However, Leisure Suit Larry (as far as I know) is not a multiplayer game.

    I think that having sexual themes in a game could work incredibly well as story elements. Heck, Witcher 2 had sexuality. It wasn't really a gameplay element per se but it was there.

    Having it as a gameplay element in a multi-player game is not my sort of thing but I suppose it could be done. The question is "how well can it be done?".

    Now someone invariably will say "they are just pixels and pixels can't be sexy" and then I'll have to say "erotica has been used in media well before the camera was  even invented.

     

  • warriorpoet7warriorpoet7 Riverside, CAPosts: 40Member
    Amusing that the slaying of countless human NPCs is just fine and dandy but the moment sex comes into the picture ... AHHHHH burn it. :)
  • DamonVileDamonVile Vancouver, BCPosts: 4,818Member

    When it comes to sex this site has some of the most uptight people working for it on the internet. In the last year you guys have done far too many bits on sex in mmos and each one has always had the same tone....sex is dirty and something people shouldn't talk about openly.

    I'm glad to see the younger generation hasn't been beat over the head with this dark age idea, and you can often see them confused by the idea that looking at...whatever gender you find attractive is wrong in some way.

    MMOs are about human interests, sex is a big part of that and will always remain a big part of many of them.

  • HarikenHariken Brighton, MAPosts: 981Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by warriorpoet7
    Amusing that the slaying of countless human NPCs is just fine and dandy but the moment sex comes into the picture ... AHHHHH burn it. :)

    Welcome to messed up country of the u.s. Blood and guts are fine for our kids but show a boob and its burn in hell time. Its tiring and stupid. People are all angry of pixels on a screen and we have to always debate about it.

  • VoreDockVoreDock port richey, FLPosts: 129Member

    I don't think sex in a MMO can work  yes sex has a place but it has to be in with the story  to work.

    Second Life has sex but SL is not a True MMO in SL it's Role Play and you can find anything in SL

     
  • NadiaNadia Canonsburg, PAPosts: 11,866Member Common
  • maxima29maxima29 iowa, IAPosts: 203Member
    Nothing wrong with running around age of Conan with your enlarged boob potion swinging your axe or having a relationship with a companion in swtor. But unfortunately some are not mature enough or understand the topic like a recent poster on here hating on swtor comparing how he does not get enough free from swtor and the pain and trouble it causes his is like a rape victim. Now that's crossing the line and somehow this site has yet to take that post down.
  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,197Member Uncommon

    I agree with you Victor. I don't see you getting a lot of support here as objectification is usually rationalized with the "maturity" and/or "violence" trope as seen in posts above.

    Keep on with the good fight. I applaud your courage.

  • victorbjrvictorbjr Quezon CityPosts: 185Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by 3-4thElf

    So the advocating here is.. Here's some lyrics and thoughts; with a moral conclusion.

    I began playing MMOs with one goal in mind as an 18 year old EQ rogue. To stab things from behind. Well quite literally to help kill things and what have you.

    My peers found girlfriends, and we built guilds around fake royal relationships. Some turned real and others turned into awkward /tells in guild chat.

    Game companies don't have a lot of options for stabs from behind for points of damage anymore.

    Like any form of fiction, sex is there. Is there a comfortable conservitive way to approach it in games? Nope.

    So why try that approach?

    There's no sex in my copy of Green Eggs and Ham. :)

     

    But I do understand what you're saying. 

     

    Sex is a myriad of things, and being too conservative would put a damper on discussion, I agree.

     

    Trying to factor in sex on a story-based, multiplayer online game where people of different cultures and sensibilities are trying to eke out a virtual living though? From a storyline, mechanical (animation) and gameplay (stats, abilities, and numbers), and itemization standpoint, it's hard for me to say "Go forth and multiply" in this case.

    A writer and gamer from the Philippines. Loves his mom dearly. :)

    Can also be found on http://www.gamesandgeekery.com

  • victorbjrvictorbjr Quezon CityPosts: 185Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by maxima29
    Nothing wrong with running around age of Conan with your enlarged boob potion swinging your axe or having a relationship with a companion in swtor. But unfortunately some are not mature enough or understand the topic like a recent poster on here hating on swtor comparing how he does not get enough free from swtor and the pain and trouble it causes his is like a rape victim. Now that's crossing the line and somehow this site has yet to take that post down.
     

    There's a post of that sort here? was it reported? :(

    A writer and gamer from the Philippines. Loves his mom dearly. :)

    Can also be found on http://www.gamesandgeekery.com

  • GruugGruug Chillicothe, ILPosts: 1,311Member Uncommon

    I have no problem with "tasteful" sexual content in any game EXCEPT in MMO's. Why? Because at this point in time there are far too many "little boys" and "little girls" that may be playing them at any given point. And, there are to many "dirty old men (maybe women)" that play as OPPOSITE gender. That makes for a mix which if you add the sexual component just does not bode well. I say that a GOOD MMO does not need sexual content at all and should avoid it for the reason I suggest above.

    Look at it another way, if some old fart makes an in-game  pass at little Jonny in a game, how long will it be before politicians think they need to get involved and start really mucking up OUR games.

    Let's party like it is 1863!

  • victorbjrvictorbjr Quezon CityPosts: 185Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by DamonVile

    When it comes to sex this site has some of the most uptight people working for it on the internet. In the last year you guys have done far too many bits on sex in mmos and each one has always had the same tone....sex is dirty and something people shouldn't talk about openly.

    I'm glad to see the younger generation hasn't been beat over the head with this dark age idea, and you can often see them confused by the idea that looking at...whatever gender you find attractive is wrong in some way.

    MMOs are about human interests, sex is a big part of that and will always remain a big part of many of them.

     

    I'm talking about sex openly and I'm not saying it's dirty.

     

    What I'm saying is that it's difficult to make a sex-based or overtly sexual viable on a multitude of levels: not simply as a game, but also as something worth marketing to cultures that do not share the same openness towards sex. 

     

    That said, if you have a good game, you shouldn't have to need sexual representations to make it worth playing., right? 

    A writer and gamer from the Philippines. Loves his mom dearly. :)

    Can also be found on http://www.gamesandgeekery.com

  • ThanosxpThanosxp floripaPosts: 168Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by victorbjr
    Originally posted by DamonVile

    When it comes to sex this site has some of the most uptight people working for it on the internet. In the last year you guys have done far too many bits on sex in mmos and each one has always had the same tone....sex is dirty and something people shouldn't talk about openly.

    I'm glad to see the younger generation hasn't been beat over the head with this dark age idea, and you can often see them confused by the idea that looking at...whatever gender you find attractive is wrong in some way.

    MMOs are about human interests, sex is a big part of that and will always remain a big part of many of them.

     

    I'm talking about sex openly and I'm not saying it's dirty.

     

    What I'm saying is that it's difficult to make a sex-based or overtly sexual viable on a multitude of levels: not simply as a game, but also as something worth marketing to cultures that do not share the same openness towards sex. 

     

    That said, if you have a good game, you shouldn't have to need sexual representations to make it worth playing., right? 

    Can't the same be said about violence? Now, removing violence, how many mainstream mmo do we get?

    Let's not resort to the strawman here either: Is WoW violence-based? The real problem is that any sexualization is seen as something that makes the game sex-based. If you have a good game and introduce a sexualization in any level, does it become a bad game too?

  • FoomerangFoomerang Portland, ORPosts: 5,565Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by Hariken
    Originally posted by warriorpoet7 Amusing that the slaying of countless human NPCs is just fine and dandy but the moment sex comes into the picture ... AHHHHH burn it. :)
    Welcome to messed up country of the u.s. Blood and guts are fine for our kids but show a boob and its burn in hell time. Its tiring and stupid. People are all angry of pixels on a screen and we have to always debate about it.

    Those are two different contexts.

    It doesn't have to do with nudity. It doesn't have to do with blood and guts. Its not about censorship or double standards. We need to realize there are two separate things going on here when we talk about violence in video games and sex in video games.

    Violence in mmos is almost always justified withing the context of the lore. You are constantly being told that the mass murdering you are committing is a good thing, a necessity, your duty etc. You are saving the world one kill at a time.

    Sex in mmos, or rather the objectification of women is more than a boob. Its taking a female figure, and presenting her in a way that triggers a sexual desire. Its detracting from the human aspect of a woman and replacing it with an objectified fantasy version. The context is sex. Nothing more or less. Nothing is justified here except for reinforcing the fact that this woman is hot, shes a seductive sexual being and therefore must be killed or fucked. You could do that to a male villain and it would be just as oppressive.

    We accept these things as "this is how it is". Sex sells because sex sells, right? Why does sex sell? Because we love sex. Why do we love sex so much? Because its on our dna to want to procreate. SO does that make it ok to be sold to us?

    Look, people will agree that rape, hate crimes, violence, all things against all genders occurs on a regular basis in our society. Do you think thats ok? Im not asking if you think its unavoidable or not or why it exists. Do you think its ok that this happens?

    Where does these societal norms come from? Do you really think we are born with it? Is it possible that the world we live in has accepted rules of how people behave and what is expected of them in our society?

    Think about this stuff. Its good to question why things are the way they are. And how hard it is to change that environment or even want to.

    I may not be writing these things very well. If any of this is striking a chord with you, I highly recommend reading The Will to Change by bell hooks.

    Take care :)

  • DauzqulDauzqul Detroit, MIPosts: 1,402Member Uncommon
    this, unfortunately, is going to be key for many potential Oculus Rift buyers.
  • SkyllzSkyllz Gatineau, QCPosts: 24Member
    Alot of people who would not make it due to boss timers...
  • KarahandrasKarahandras Sible HedinghamPosts: 1,673Member Uncommon

    Let me roll up my wizards sleeve, grab my giggle stick, wave my magic wand  and go and bash the bishop with captain winky to save the family jewels.  Because we all know you'r not a real man until you've got blood on your sword.

     

    Interesting article and will certainly be reading the next installment(s).  Whilst I agree with the dislike of the representation and it's use in advertising, I find it odd that this is considered a no-no but fake articles, news items etc. that are just disgused(albeit thinly) advertising is fine.

  • DrealgrinDrealgrin Longwood, FLPosts: 156Member

    congratulations on making one of the most boring and unfunny sex related posts ever on the internet.

    That's quite a feat.

  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,197Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Foomerang

     


    Originally posted by Hariken

    Originally posted by warriorpoet7 Amusing that the slaying of countless human NPCs is just fine and dandy but the moment sex comes into the picture ... AHHHHH burn it. :)
    Welcome to messed up country of the u.s. Blood and guts are fine for our kids but show a boob and its burn in hell time. Its tiring and stupid. People are all angry of pixels on a screen and we have to always debate about it.
    Those are two different contexts.

     

    It doesn't have to do with nudity. It doesn't have to do with blood and guts. Its not about censorship or double standards. We need to realize there are two separate things going on here when we talk about violence in video games and sex in video games.

    Violence in mmos is almost always justified withing the context of the lore. You are constantly being told that the mass murdering you are committing is a good thing, a necessity, your duty etc. You are saving the world one kill at a time.

    Sex in mmos, or rather the objectification of women is more than a boob. Its taking a female figure, and presenting her in a way that triggers a sexual desire. Its detracting from the human aspect of a woman and replacing it with an objectified fantasy version. The context is sex. Nothing more or less. Nothing is justified here except for reinforcing the fact that this woman is hot, shes a seductive sexual being and therefore must be killed or fucked. You could do that to a male villain and it would be just as oppressive.

    We accept these things as "this is how it is". Sex sells because sex sells, right? Why does sex sell? Because we love sex. Why do we love sex so much? Because its on our dna to want to procreate. SO does that make it ok to be sold to us?

    Look, people will agree that rape, hate crimes, violence, all things against all genders occurs on a regular basis in our society. Do you think thats ok? Im not asking if you think its unavoidable or not or why it exists. Do you think its ok that this happens?

    Where does these societal norms come from? Do you really think we are born with it? Is it possible that the world we live in has accepted rules of how people behave and what is expected of them in our society?

    Think about this stuff. Its good to question why things are the way they are. And how hard it is to change that environment or even want to.

    I may not be writing these things very well. If any of this is striking a chord with you, I highly recommend reading The Will to Change by bell hooks.

    Take care :)

    Foo, you're brilliant and eloquent. I love how you explain these things, so much better than I can.

  • SiphaedSiphaed Everywhere!Posts: 877Member Uncommon

    The problem is that sex is just physical interaction without the love/relationships behind it.  Many of the games that put sex as a forefront "hey, this game is MATURE!" do not put any thought or story into the relation of the characters [or players] that are mentioned.

     

    Take for example GW2's Caith and Faoline.  They're former lovers who had an in-depth relationship.  Even as one turned to the Nightmare and the other towards good, they still held emotional bonds (rather than just wanting to feel good between their loins).  The term "Dearheart" is used so often by Faoline to express her former relation with Caith.


  • GeezerGamerGeezerGamer ChairPosts: 5,587Member Uncommon
    Rain dogs howl for the century
    A million dollars at stake
    As you search for your demi-god
    And you fake with a saint
    There's no sex in your violence
    There's no sex in your violence
    Try to see it once my way
    Everything Zen
    Everything Zen
    I don't think so
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