Editorial: Adult Entertainment Will Invade Gaming
Here's the deal- pornography or adult entertainment (or whatever you wish to call it) remains mostly taboo in mainstream culture. But at the same time, one would have to be either blind or ignorantly dismissive if they didn't recognize the significant, yet very small, crossover attempts by certain popular pornstars. Now, considering that video games can officially be labeled as a "mainstream" form of entertainment, it's logical to assume that the aforementioned crossover will begin to rear its ugly head in the interactive entertainment world. Okay, perhaps "ugly head" is the wrong term to use in this particular scenario, but you get the gist.
But before I continue, I should probably clarify a little something. The sexual revolution began in the '60s, and there was a time in its infancy when pornography (tame compared to today, but still pornography) was considered very hip. Hollywood celebrities from the A-list were often seen attending some of the very first skin-flicks in existence, like "Deep Throat." It was part of a blossoming underground culture that America got behind and defended as a rights issue, and it made sense due to the time period. The country was breaking through the boundaries set by the so-called "stuffy" '50s generation, and "free love" was exactly the way it sounded. So it's not like adult entertainment has never been in the public eye before, but perhaps there's a small difference between then and now.
Then, it was a new form of expression designed to liberate repressed emotion and desires. Now, it's more of an excuse to be hedonistic, simply because we're about as loose as this country has ever been in regards to social morals. Hence, when Tera Patrick suddenly pops up as a "special producer" for Saints Row 2, I'm not in the least bit surprised. Didn't I just see her on an episode of "I Love the '80s" on VH1? Yes, I think I did. Haven't they used pornstars in bit roles in big movies (just for the sake of a sex object who doesn't speak) in the recent past? Yep, I believe they did. Was a cartoon version of Jenna Jameson in a "Family Guy" episode? Yup, I'm sure she was. This is a crossover that would never have been tolerated 20 years ago, but now, it's basically inevitable. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how depraved you are), pornstars are becoming more accepted in the mainstream public light, and with this new liberal regime in place...it's only going to become more accepted with time.
I believe it's only a matter of months before a big-name pornstar has a cameo on a TV sitcom. I think we're just a tweak away from one of them putting out a solo music album. And yes, I don't think pornstars in video games is far behind, or actually, based on that news, maybe it's already here. Of course, the big question is, do consumers see this as a problem? I'm guessing that many don't, provided the products are still rated appropriately. But are we crossing an invisible line? Are there even any lines left to cross in this society? I dunno... I'd be a lying, elitist nimrod if I said I've never watched porn, and I'm in no position to lecture. But I'm not lecturing; I'm merely making a statement of fact, and then following it up with a question: adult entertainment will most certainly become a larger and larger part of the video game industry in the future, and is this a bad thing, regardless of ratings?
Maybe there are no answers. Maybe Tera Patrick is only the beginning, and well...so what? And bear in mind that as of now, pornography isn't exactly a part of gaming, but at this point, based on all other evidence, it most certainly will be. Sex sells, and everyone on earth who wants to sell something knows it. That's all I'll say on the matter.
7/25/2008 Ben Dutka