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Author Topic: Sex and Violence in Gaming  (Read 3153 times)
Yoda
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« on: November 19, 2010, 04:21:47 PM »

With the links to Ar Tonelico gameplay in the one thread, and some of the talk from this thread, I'd like to have a little fireside chat about this topic.
I'm sure it's been talked about somewhat in the past but people's opinions vary and plus: new posters and shit


I personally don't know that much about Ar Tonelico except from watching some gameplay vids on youtube from the ps2 games ( i actually like some of the sprite-art) and the vids posted in the bringing back rpg thread. But from what I've seen I don't like. I'm not going shit all over something just because I don't like it, but I found that a bit creepy. The juvenile look to the characters, the poses, the disrobing, and the odd looks on their faces adds up for general creepiness IMHO.

Sure, some of the games I've played in my day are pretty sick in their own right with over the top violence and even some sex. But for the most part it's in the interest of advancing story or is a valid gameplay mechanic.

I'm not singling out AT here exactly, but I find myself more unlikely to play a game if it's full of pointless stuff like that. But I'll fully admit feeling warm and tingly on the inside when my female Shepard did the horizontal bop w/ Liara in ME1.

Am I hypocrite?

Where do you draw the line w/ sex and violence? Do you have a limit?

Will this tread sink or swim?
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xXMelancholiaXx
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« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2010, 04:25:53 PM »

Can't say it bothers me.
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Yggdrasil
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« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2010, 04:36:32 PM »

Well, I really don't like the violence that is shown in God of War III. But I love the violence in Ninja Gaiden 2/Sigma 2... maybe is because the violence in GoW III is more graphic and not so stylized like in other action games.
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Dice
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« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2010, 04:37:47 PM »

It doesn't bother me mainly because I like it when games show something more realistic.  People get hurt, people have sex.  When it comes to games though, the "sexual" aspect and display of women as sexual objects is what gets to me.

I'm not trying to sound like a bra-burning feminist; but sometimes its so blatant it makes me dumb.

JRPGs love showing either double-F Cups in clothes a size too small; or, even worse, kid-characters with their asses to the main guy (then they get up flustered, like we've seen a BAZILLION times before).  Funny how these women get naked so often, but are always flustered about it.  Oh wait, that's "cute" over there.  They're all virgins too.  I liked the "idea" of Samus before she opened up her trap for some of the melodrama in Metroid Other M (she still kicked ass though).  FF13 may have sucked, but you can't help but love Lightning for not being typical.

Western Games like this raw woman aspect; she's sexy, strong, speaks her mind - but too often they're not independent enough to stand out more.  JRPGs are a bit better at this, IMO, but not by much. They're strong, but sometimes too key to the male's love interest to ever step away.  I loved Joanna Dark though (before her red-head makeover)...can't say I know many other leading-like ladies.

Violence to me is just a part of the action.

Did I veer off the topic?
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Yoda
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« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2010, 04:52:07 PM »

I guess it's the same thing that bothers me. It's more so the behavior and attitude than the actual huge animated jugs.

I remember actually thinking Samus ruled as a kid. I was (and still) a huge sci fi nerd growing up. Seeing not only a cool game w/ awesome environments and sci-fi beats but a cool babe bounty hunter was awesome.


I've never thought about what you said about western characters not being strong enough to stand out. I always liked the somewhat put off nature of characters like Morigan.
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FlamingR1ft
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« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2010, 04:53:49 PM »

You're definitely right Dice.

Japanese female characters are stupidly vulnerable and innocent. Western female characters are stupidly macho and often annoying.

As an example for Western characters, I was thinking about this a bit when I was playing Uncharted 2 the other day. Elena, IMO, is an awesome female character. She's strong, she's dependable, she's interesting, she's funny, but she still comes across as being a realistic woman rather than a macho character or a helpless girl. It's the combination of: "Uh, I dunno if this is such a good idea" side and the "Nate, stop being an idiot and follow me" side.

On the other hand, Chloe (again IMO), is a terrible character. She fits the macho stereotype and the, "Oh, well, I might want to be friends with you but due to my dark and troubled past I'm going to keep betraying you. But I'm sexy so you're going to forgive me anyway." In response to Yoda, I believe Morigan fits this stereotype too--though I didn't actually finish Dragon Age so I might be off.

Then we hit the impenetrable wall that is the typical Japanese female character. It seems unless your company has the name Atlus or Square Enix, your characters are doomed to fit appalling stereotypes that most members of this site would laugh at. It doesn't mean we don't like the characters, but it does get tiring to see the same stereotype over and over again. I could go on and on at this point, but I doubt I'd be saying anything we don't already know or hasn't been discussed on other topics.
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Starmongoose
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« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2010, 04:55:25 PM »

Sexual references have become so commonplace I hardly even register them any more, and I don't think it would bother me if it did. The only reason it would annoy me is if it popped up every other scene. But that can be said for anything, repetition is boring. As for violence...eh. As a jrpg lover, I don't think I've ever been overly exposed to violence (and I'm a pussy so I don't watch many horror movies).

That being said, I loved the anime Higurashi: When they cry, and it could be pretty brutal at times. So I guess violence doesn't bother me either.  
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Annubis
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« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2010, 05:41:05 PM »

Easy answer: read some mangas, watch some animes, play some games that never made it out of Japan. You will become immunized to it.
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xXMelancholiaXx
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« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2010, 05:42:45 PM »

Easy answer: read some mangas, watch some animes, play some games that never made it out of Japan. You will become immunized to it.
This man speaks the truth.
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Yggdrasil
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« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2010, 06:02:10 PM »

Easy answer: read some mangas, watch some animes, play some games that never made it out of Japan. You will become immunized to it.
This man speaks the truth.

Not really.
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Yoda
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« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2010, 06:05:00 PM »

Why would I force myself to play something I don't really care for?

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GrimReality
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« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2010, 09:55:29 PM »

Violence very rarely bothers me, but a few of the moves in GoWIII made me wince a little.
I prefer sex to stay as far away as possible from gaming. It just doesn't work. Even the Mass Effects scenes made me feel uncomfortable. It has nothing to do with being a prude(far from it). It's just that games are not yet at the point where such things can take place seamlessly within the game. They stand out as silly or goofy or whatever. This is not good in a serious game like ME.
Now, there's nothing wrong with a little sexual banter/innuendo, but the stuff in that Ar Tonelico video from the other thread was just ridiculous. Not in a funny way either.
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« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2010, 10:27:32 PM »

Like Dice, I don't like the stereotypes the some JRPGs and WRPGs propagate. Aside from being waaaay off the target (plus, you know, pretty insulting), they're repetitive and annoying. I know that not all female characters can be 'strong' female characters but there seems to be little in-between on the scale.

I've sort of grown desensitized to violence in video games. To me it's just... there. I'm not impressed by it anymore as it seems to exist mostly to exclaimt: "I'm brutal, violent, badass- play me to feel like a badass!" Could probably do with less of it. I'm more of a prude with sexual content when it comes to VGs. I'm old fashioned, I feel like it should stay in the realm of sexual activity and good film-making/art.

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« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2010, 03:05:57 AM »

I like the Ar Tonelico games. A lot. But yeah, the sexual overtones are annoying. It's the main reason why I always switch the voices to Japanese right away. I'm sure they're just those sound just as perverted as the English ones, but atleast I don't understand half of them.

It's not the idea of innuendo that bothers me, but a game that doesn't need it, shouldn't have this much. The Ar Tonelico games are pretty awesome. Great music, interesting world, interesting characters even. The two girls from Ar Tonelico 2 showed a lot of depth when they weren't busy providing fanservice. The girls are also incredibly strong. Sure, they stand in the back and sing, but the meatshields wouldn't be able to get anything done without them.

You know what also bothers me? The heroes of these games are so boring. The girls deserve better than some bland guy with a big sword whose only purpose is to be an avatar for desperate gamers.

Games such as Agarest War? Meh, I don't care. If people want to play a game like that, it's their choice.


As for violence, there is very little that makes me cringe, but over-the-top violence is totally uninteresting to me. A constant splatterfest doesn't make an impact, one brutal murder in an otherwise fairly clean game does.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2010, 03:18:42 AM by Tomara » Logged
Dincrest
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« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2010, 08:37:49 AM »

Writing and scripting good relationship storylines is very difficult.  Many movies, books, and TV shows fall flat on their faces depicting relationships, especially adult relationships.  Even video games harbored by relationships (i.e. love adventures) often fall into the same predictable tropes making the character feel like cardboard archetypes rather than people.  Sure there are plenty that have top notch writing and depict aspects of relationships well, but they're few and far between.  

And in almost any given culture, there is some kind of taboo or stigma about sex and sexuality, which is a key and complex component in relationships.  The maturity to which a culture as a whole views sex and sexuality (and relationships as a whole) will affect how it is depicted by writers.  

As for violence, as long as it's not splatter merely for the sake of splatter, I'm okay with it.  Sometimes less is more.  Halloween was a scary movie not because it was excessively bloody or violent but was scary through suggestion, which I find more effective than intestines strewn all over the floor.  

« Last Edit: November 20, 2010, 08:40:36 AM by Dincrest » Logged

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