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Sex in Video Games: The Bad & the Good

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Since the beginning of their invention, video games have found themselves as the topic of many hot debates and psychology research studies. We often hear speculations that the button-mashing hobby is too violent, too brain-numbing, and of course, too sexual. A lot of gamers are familiar with the infamous Hot Coffee mini-game in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas that ended in a $20 million settlement. Or in general, the number of prostitutes that may be picked up throughout the game. Grand Theft Auto isn’t the only culprit when it comes to sex in video games. In fact, even Atari and Nintendo had a collection of games based solely on sex.

The Bad

As we see sex being included in video games, we often see it portrayed as simply a joke, and not so much an act of romance between two characters. Games such as the Grand Theft Auto franchise is well-known for scenes of sex. As previously mentioned, players are given the ability to pick up prostitutes and even given the chance to participate in sexual activities with them. The remastered version of Grand Theft Auto V, released in 2014, added a new first-person mode that adding a new controversy to the game as you are now able to have sex with these prostitutes in first person.

Sony’s God of War 3 has also caused a rise when it comes to sex in video games. Players are invited to play a mini sex-game with Aphrodite. Some may find entertainment by controlling Kratos actions as he pleasures the Goddess of Love, but is this scene necessary as it doesn’t advance the story even further?

And the Good

On the opposite end of the spectrum, is sex in video games really that bad? Books, film, and television programs often incorporate sex without any repercussion. Netflix’s Jessica Jones is notorious for numerous sex scenes that seem irrelevant to the storyline, yet no one expresses any distaste for the program.

When discussing sex in video games, Mass Effect is often quickly brought up. This science fiction action video game plays out like a sci-fi drama. Throughout, you are given the ability to romance a squad-mate, which leads to the possibility of a sex scene, depending on the options chosen by the player. Unlike other games, Mass Effect’s sex scene is based more on developed relationships, instead of just chance meetings.

Sex in video games can be just as controversial as sex in movies and television programs were in the past. It is a touchy subject that will remain a basis of debate as media expands with technology, and different mediums come to existence.

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