The Separation of Porn and Game
February 24thth, 2004, by Matt
I'm no Puritan, as my many years of not drowning, not hanging, and not burning women who give me an
erection will attest. But the thought of one more game with added boner-inducement technology as a
selling point makes me reach for the buckled shoes and knee-length breeches.
See, some game developers just don't seem to understand what the porn industry has figured out long
ago. Porn knows it would be wrong to have a pool boy glance through the patio window only to spot
his employer's sexy daughter (on vacation from her all-girl's college) eyeing him while lazing
sideways across a recliner as she's
idly talking to her very good friend— with whom she shares everything— then...
having him jump across the moving platforms above the pool so they can all team up and fight aliens.
They know that a flimsy premise and embellished female sexual permissiveness must segue very quickly
into somebody putting something inside someone else, something non-bullet and non-sword.
But game developers who cater to those— and who themselves are— thinking with their dicks
are, across the board, also too chickenshit to just make a porn game. American game developers,
anyway. The Japanese are on it. So instead, you get all the pole dancing, jiggling, panty shots, and
irredeemably stupid come-ons, with none of the payoff. At most, you might see two nipples
simultaneously, and they'll undoubtedly belong to the same woman. Then the developers try to make up
for the $40 cost difference between their game and five seconds at the local strip club with some
half-assed knockoff of a game you played last year.
What is the point? I mean, most of the time when I'm playing a video game, I'm not having sex. Thus,
in part of my mind, I want to have sex. Does the game I'm playing really need
to do what my brain is already doing, presenting the idea of some really great sex and then not
figuring out how to actually give it to me? It would be insulting if I didn't have the comfort of the
knowledge that the developers annoying me with this are really desperate in more ways than one— even
the developers who aren't in the seventh year of development on their first Windows game.
If you remain unconvinced, take a look at this old Fear Effect 2 ad that reader JP submitted after
seeing it on famously nicknamed game journalist loonyboi's blog:
Original, actual print ad.
If this makes you interested in Fear Effect 2— or perhaps interested but with a vague sense of
it being insulting towards women and therefore OK since you don't actually know many women but if you
did you wouldn't show them this— you've been had. Here, look at what the ad is really saying:
Implicit message revealed, and original ass tagline upgraded to
something they wish they could use.
Now I know that just about anything can be fetishized, and that there's money to be made. That's a decent theory
as to why these games exist. On a fetish scale of "poop" to "stern, but secretly passionate young English
teachers", flesh-toned polygons might even fall right of center. But, ultimately, even extreme softcore fetish
is still fetish and still pretty creepy if you aren't into it. At Best Buy, Crying Japanese Women Farting on
Birthday Cakes Volume 3 doesn't share shelf space with Pirates of the Caribbean. They may not even carry it; they keep hanging up when I call and ask.
But BMX XXX sits next to Burnout, and that's just wrong. As soon as Sid Meier goes on record as saying games
should no longer be considered a series of interesting decisions, but instead a series of interesting primary
and secondary sexual characteristics, I'll recant. But not until then.