Games Are Growing Up – Case: Heavy Rain

March 20, 2010 · Posted in Gaming · 4 Comments 

I’ve been a gamer since 1983 when I got my Commodore 64, and since 2000 I’ve been amongst other things a professional gaming journalist. There is one thing about games that has started to irritate me more and more as the time has passed: although the gamers, the game industry and everybody in between is clamoring that the gaming is not just a hobby for kids anymore, story-wise almost every game seems to be written for kids or fratboys, or at the best case for “the average consumer”.

Stop the press - there are tasteful sex scenes in games!

Hold on, you say, there’s plenty of games with an 18+ age limit, so there’s plenty of games for adults, right? Well, yes – if you define “adult content” to mean boobs and blood, and even on that front games are horribly handicapped on the boobs side of the issue. Go on, list all the games that handle sex and relationships in a non-dramatic, non-comical and mature way, I dare you. True, Mass Effect had a tasteful super soft-core sex scene, Dragon Age: Origins handled hetero and gay romances in a very nifty way and several games, such as the first Still Life, Hitman: Blood Money, Gears of War 2 (the scene) and The Darkness have some sequences that makes violence feel downright nasty and horrible. The depiction of violence as a bad thing hasn’t got that much press, but holy hell, mention sex in a video game and both the mainstream and gaming media are on fire. Surprisingly the moral panic of mainstream press over for example Mass Effect was often far less embarrassing to read than gaming press, which was far to often on the level of “OMG GAMEZ HAZ BOOBZ”. Way to go, branding gaming as a hobby for adults.

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