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GDC 2008: Sexual Content In Games "Terrifies" Developers

With all the fallout over sexual content in video games these days, the ignorant must certainly believe the industry is run by sex-starved, ultra-hedonistic, poorly adjusted "man-teens." But according to Brenda Brathwaite's speech at her "Hentai, Hardcore, and Hotties" during the GDC, it's actually quite the opposite.

Brathwaite, founder of the International Game Developers Association's sex special interest group, developers are "terrified of putting sex in games in case they get the AO rating, which is the kiss of death." She admits this is a perfectly rational fear, what with most retail stores refusing to stock "Adults Only" titles; this problem became abundantly clear last year when Rockstar's Manhunt 2 got slapped with the AO rating. They were forced to return to the editing room and resubmit for the "M" (Mature) rating; otherwise, the game would never have seen the light of day in most places.

On the other hand, Brathwaite says the rating system is stopping developers from making educational sex titles because it would automatically get the AO rating. Hence, no developer or publisher would be willing to make the financial risk. Some of you may be thinking about the much-publicized sex scene in Mass Effect, which garnered plenty of criticism late last year. However, as most gamers already know, the scenes in question (girl-on-girl intimacy), are a far cry from something X-rated, and aren't even in the same league as "torture-porn" movies. Brathwaite agrees, and says the content "didn't offer anything near a hardcore experience." As she said-

"Why is that not OK? Why is that not alright? If we don't have any sex in games at all, we're going to end up with just those happy Disney games."

Our sentiments exactly. But because the mainstream public will apparently never believe games are for anybody over the age of 10, sexual content will always be taboo. Oh, and she did make mention of that sex scene in God of War: Chains of Olympus, and she had to laugh: "If you were watching that on TV, you know with that kind of the vase wobbling on the table stuff, that would barely be a 13. Come on, that's almost Happy Days stuff." Gee...I believe I said something very, very similar in last weekend's Week In Review. See what we're saying?

2/20/2008 Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (9 posts)

Thursday, February 21, 2008 @ 12:00:12 AM

I hate Republicans.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008 @ 8:21:19 PM

hey fatchad420 it was the DEMS that started this and passed it. Remember Gore's Wife, Remember the big HC's speach. I hate dems and Repub but for god sake get it right. And no I don't want my kid F'en some chick on a game. And yes I do it myself, hey I drink and do drugs but I don't want my kid doing them. You guys get real and think for once. The right and the left should both move to another country and live us in the middle alone.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008 @ 1:04:45 AM

^ what he said! ^

wait... what about Tipper Gore? >.>

Sadly, it's on both sides of the government parties...

Now if somebody would just make an updated Virtual Valerie... say... Virtual Valerie HD (1080p) and make it multiplatform... Haha, that'd give people something to whine about!

In the end, parents are the ones who need to pay attention to what their children do. Who cares about a little omg, touchy feely sex scene. For one, they're pixels, not real people. As for the symbolism of it, get over it. Anyone walk past a Victoria Secret store? Maybe we should start putting the lace panties they sell at WalMart in a secret room... Or perhaps they should take everything off of television except Pokemon.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008 @ 1:33:02 AM

I don't see why AO is so feared by American retailers. Sales of 18 rated products in the UK are widely accepted.

Maybe Manhunt should get an edited release in the US but give the UK the full artistic realisation.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008 @ 3:07:23 AM

I don't like limiting freedom like this.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008 @ 7:38:44 AM

Gah, its always unfair to treat video games worst than movies. You can't say movies like Saw and all that torture porn stuff is OKAY but video games you show a nipple and people are going crazy!!! Its sad really

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Thursday, February 21, 2008 @ 12:27:37 PM

LOL I read this and it made me laugh! Movies have a lot more "revealing sex". The fact that they would rate games AO - for adult, makes me wonder if they knew that ADULTS (OVER 18) play games *this really pisses me of 'cause I'm 23*. I dun get it - "M" games are for 17 and sex in movies go as little as PG. In a sense, it feels like a little sex scene (just the hint of it sometimes) in a video game is characterized as "porn" since that is given an "adult" rating... wtf oO

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Thursday, February 21, 2008 @ 8:39:15 PM

These guys are whinig over a sex scene so what? I agree with what everyone says they do it in movies but they whine over a little video game sex scene...... wow that doesn't suprise me

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Saturday, February 23, 2008 @ 8:37:44 PM

Here we go again with some tight-arsed git tries to stop people having fun just because it doesn't fit into their personal taste.
What's wrong with sex in games? Sex is a natural part of life and I'd say it's far more desirable a thing than violence. Yet it's the sex these people object to?
It's time these minority voices lost their power of the majority.

Perhaps someone will soon have the balls to stand up to these freedom hating gits.

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