Of Sex and Gaming
The gaming world continues to create revolutions and evolutions. Online games are increasing in number as we speak. Gamers, like you and me, feel the diverse choices presented to us as we browse through the internet for new games. Looking at the backside, the diversity is nothing but an outer shell of an overly used entertainment formula”¦ a formula of sex and violence.
Just less than a century ago, advertising became the booming trend in businesses. It gave people that weird feeling of wanting something they really didn’t need. As a psychological feat, it worked in favor of the market. It was abusive, greedy, and deceptive. As more and more products came to use this feat, the effect of advertising declined. It had to resort to more vicious means: by tapping into man more primal instinct. It became an age-old trend; pictures or videos of scantily-clad women or men with washboard abs showing a totally unrelated product. A lot of advertisements are rife with the means to tap into a human psychosexual instinct. And even the gaming industry experiences such straightforward attack, revealing their business-oriented (or more politically-incorrect “profit-generating”) side.
I’ve digressed too much for such an introduction. The gaming world has far more experience in the world of advertising than we can expect. Perhaps ever since Mario began his journey through different worlds, there always something tapping the masculine instinct: rescuing the princess, saving the world to bloat egos, or be in time to stand up and get a cheeseburger. For the most part, there always a woman, sexy or meek (wherever your fetish goes), pulling the male-dominated gaming population to seek out and buy their games. The MMO world is no different. You’ve most likely seen the ads and the promotional videos of some MMOs; scantily clad women said to be in “full gear,” bouncy breasts, vivacious curves, and flawless skin alongside buffed men with washboard abs and bulging pectorals.
Allow me to be Freudian and pre-empt the conclusion. It all about the sex, and perhaps getting one. Like I said, the advertisements tap into the psychosexual side of the gamer brain. It an attempt to cover up any and all flaws that the game might have. It an attempt to entice the male (or female) gamers to create their ultimate buff body in a different world, or create their dream man (or woman). It a means to reel in more subscribers, no matter what gender dominates the populace. For the bigger part of the buyer point of view, sex in advertising has always been a normal thing. And perhaps, people are already immune and amoral to the messages it subliminally implies. Perhaps we’re all pulled in by that one string that answers the question of why we play games. Do we play to get laid? To inflate our egos? To get the girls (or guys)? It not always about fun and excitement. Sometimes it a mere means to an end; an end that represents having a date with your hand and a roll of tissue, or a date with a partner in some room with dimmed out lights. Some of you may try to deny or falsify this accusation, but this holds true in any situation. It has been all about the sex. You wake up, take a bath, eat your food, sit down in front of the PC and log in. Then what? Search for a party, make friends, do some quests, bash other players in battle or in a verbal tussle”¦ Then friends meet up, go out on dates, show off their insane characters”¦ People get impressed, player gets laid”¦ Oh by the way, getting “laid” isn’t only being sexual. It also an emotional thing. The orgasmic feeling of being praised, bowed down, relied upon is getting laid per se. And where did that all start? It all began from a small banner ad popping up in one random page, with a scantily-clad woman with jiggly boobs and a sexy ass.
Some game developers take it upon themselves to push the genres to something more mature. Yes, ladies and gents. We’re talking about online sex games. It as simple as this: games are like movies. Games have stories, a genre, a setting, and characters. Heck, some of us have already seen our share of R-18 games for the PC or the console. It no surprise if the MMO industry would also start delving into that genre. Being Freudian once again, instead of delivering the message subliminally via advertising, these sexually-explicit games go straight to the sex part. These are “social” games that promote cybersex. Although there are no definite laws prohibiting such creation, it tarnishes the world of gaming. It through the exposure of the industry dark side that the games are being judged negatively. Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that games do not have an age limit. Even kids have access to explicitly violent or sexually-themed games, despite the warnings and age restrictions implied on them. These MMOs (or any other game for that matter) pull down the very industry in the eyes of many critics and people in power. It should therefore be said that, despite how physically and psychologically entertaining the games are, these games are but thorns in the gaming industry reputation. These games further degrade the moral standard that the industry has established upon itself. Sure, some games may have sexual themes in them, but it not to a point that the whole game is marketed towards sex itself. “Sex in a story” and “Sex as a story” are two different ideas. Though both ideas do have implications, there no hiding the fact that “Sex as a story” is the greater evil.
Again, I reiterate, from a Freudian point of view, it all about the sex. There something about the attraction, foreplay, sex and aftersex that satisfies us gamers, male and female alike. And that satisfaction is what drives gaming companies to keep using sex as one of the main selling points in their products. It a consumerism cycle. Though we do not have that direct power over how they market or what they market, we do, however, can make a stand by upholding what left of the moral dignity the gaming industry has.