Very Good Reason Why Video Game Characters Shouldn't Get Naked

I have my own theory on video game sex: it looks like two mailboxes clanging together. BioShock creator Ken Levine has something a little more humanoid in mind.

Here's the crux of it, and it's something I wish more developers enforced: if you can't make something look or feel good/real, then don't do it. Your Hollywood impulses might be telling you a game needs a sex scene, but if all you can make it look like is two puppets banging faces then you're better off having them just hold hands.

This rule also applies to smoking. The Illusive Man in Mass Effect 2 did not look like a man smoking. He looked like a machine that, if I walked along the promenade in 1936, I could put a nickel in and see it raise its mechanical arm to its mouth in a crude simulation of "smoking".


Comments

    Mass Effect 1 was the only Bioware game to do sex scenes well, and yet that was the only time they've been naked.

    They weren't good because they were naked; they were good because they were stylized. That's why they worked.

    So, what - if you can't do something exactly right, don't try? Fantastic advice, I'll pass it on to my kid.

      The topic is 'videogames and immersion'; try to not to wander off.

    By that logic everything characters do in-game is like puppets. Sure some animations may look more obvious than others but at least developers are trying to present them in a dimension outside of what is expected in a video game. I'm not condoning sex for the sake of it but by having developers experiment with the concept they can discover new plateaus where sex can be harmoniously integrated with games, creating an understanding of characters only explored on a deeply immature level.

    "The Illusive Man in Mass Effect 2 did not look like a man smoking. He looked like a machine that, if I walked along the promenade in 1936, I could put a nickel in and see it raise its mechanical arm to its mouth in a crude simulation of “smoking”."

    This is.. regrettably true.

    Now I can't unsee.

    I seriously don't get why people who try to analyze video games forget to factor in the immersion factor. You don't *play* a game, you *use* the game to put yourself in another reality. A sex scene in a game should be no different to a sex scene in a book, movie or play.

    Seriously, if your going to try and psych profile gaming, actually include the psych side of things. A game dev *should* know this.

    Dragon Age 2 "sex" scenes just look like really really bad pornos with their clothes still on. Its so bad you cry rather than laugh.

      Sadly, not the only reason you're crying during DA2.

    That would mean that the generations of video games leading up to this generation should not have been made at all because face it, many things did not look real. Even nowadays, many things still do not look real - case in point, ragdoll physics. That's not to say I want sex in all my games, I don't, it's just not a very good argument to use. In my opinion the real problem is that the romances in Bioware games were very tacked on.

    I think he makes a valid point. There are many things you can in games and get away with them not looking entirely real. Sex isn't one of them. It's an inherently flowing activity, and video games just can't pull it off yet. Mass Effect 1 would definitely be the exception to this rule, in that rather than showing the activity per-se, they implied it using motion and position. Smoking is a similar activity, the details of the action just cannot carry over yet (something that may be corrected using L.A. Noire's incredible motion capture technology?)

    That doesn't mean I think they should stop trying, I just think it means until they get it right, we're going to continue to see bad pornos done using puppets.

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