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Author Topic: Sex and Violence in Gaming  (Read 3109 times)
Yoda
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« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2010, 12:20:07 PM »

 

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.  



I was thinking of how hard that must make it for developers of RPGs where relationships can play a huge deal. Having to appeal to the whims of japanese or american gamers while observing tact must be difficult.

Speaking of games exhibiting adult relationships whenever I suggest Mass Effect to a friend I always mention how the acting and storytelling is more entertaining and believable than the new star wars movies.
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Vanguard
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« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2010, 05:22:15 PM »

Violence doesn't bother me, but I also don't tend to play games that flaunt their gore on the cover. As far as sex goes, I hadn't really encountered it at all until I played Super Robot Taisen OG Saga: Endless Frontier. I found that despite how excessive it became, it did add a level of humor that worked overall.

In other games it would be very awkward and actually detract from the game. But that's not because I want them separate (I'm actually pretty neutral on both these issues); rather I think video games haven't reached a mature enough level in the storytelling department to depict that kind of relationship realistically.
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Onoda
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« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2010, 07:18:40 PM »

Even with H-games, I'd say 90% or more are immature and/or disgustingly degenerate porn.  But once in a while you find something like Crescendo that has truly beautiful writing.  If you took the sex completely out of Crescendo's equation, it would still be a pretty solid love adventure.  But the way sex and sexuality is depicted and written makes it truly a great game. 
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Annubis
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« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2010, 08:51:29 PM »

<_<
>_>

The 'sister' path is quite impressive
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Onoda
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« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2010, 08:10:31 PM »

That and the Yuka path had some pretty harrowing stuff in them.  The Kaori path had the best conversations.  Kaho's path was meh.  I liked Kyoko's path a lot and hers is what I would personally choose as canon.  I had no idea what to make of the hidden path. 

Still, one of the creepiest in my mind is Brother in Final Fantasy X-2 who hits on Yuna all the time.  She's your cousin, a blood relative, you incestuous freak! 

And, again, with depictions of both violence and sexuality, the power of suggestion keeps things more interesting then all out visual buffets.
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« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2010, 09:37:28 PM »

Oh, just like in Mass Effect 2. I played a female Shepard and I just hated having to go talk to Jacob because Shepard would lean on the table as if she wanted his 'hot stuff' while I didn't want any of it at all =/
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Prime Mover
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« Reply #21 on: November 24, 2010, 10:16:39 PM »

I just realized one of the main problems with relationship portrayal in games. In observing my friends in real life, I've noticed that relationships only look right if both people are first confident with themselves, to a greater or lesser degree. If one or both parties are incomplete without another, then it becomes a very awkward, unequal bond. Unfortunately, video games often portray one or both sides as being overly needy of the other. Ar Tonelico being probably the worst offender, and the reason it just feels so wrong. The Ravytails are completely built around the idea that they are servants, and need protection, simply by nature. Can you get any more unequal than that? These girls would likely die or be captured if not for their guardians, and they have no purpose beyond being a subservient magic girl. It doesn't matter if they were 13, 21, or 30, it's still a very unbalanced relationship. Sure, the main character says something once in a while to the point of "I couldn't have done this without you", but it seems more like a pat on the back for their emotional support rather than something really meaningful.

On the flipside, one of my favorite pairings is FF8 (even if many people dislike the personalities of both characters). Both are strong willed, independent people, even if maybe a bit naive or dejected. And part of the progression I liked about game was that they really could bring themselves to fall in love with each other until after they had healed their own problems. That's real. It may be a little dramatic, or simplistic, but at least thematically, it's very true that unless a person is able to come to terms with their own problems,, and find confidence within themselves, it's very difficult for them to have and maintain a stable relationship.

It's not a black & white issue. No one is perfectly confident, and no one is a complete subordinate. But Ar Tonelico took things quite to the extremes, with a female race of beings whose whole existence revolve around being subservient, paired with male counterparts who are strong, confinement providers. Any romantic relationship that resembles that of a parent/child is just creepy.
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Annubis
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« Reply #22 on: November 24, 2010, 10:44:09 PM »

((ah screw it, not even gonna debate. Pointless))
« Last Edit: November 24, 2010, 10:46:42 PM by Annubis » Logged
Dincrest
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« Reply #23 on: November 24, 2010, 10:49:32 PM »

Among just JRPGs, I think a good majority of fans would cite Fei and Elly in Xenogears as favorite/best JRPG relationship.  I thought the inter and intra personal relationships across the board in that game were nicely done, even if the Fei/Elly fate angle was more contrived than profound.  Of course, Squall and Rinoa's relationship didn't have the veil of profundity that Xenogears' relationships did, but Prime Mover presents it as one that is believable and effective.      

Thus, another deeper query to get to the pulse of a relationship storyline: does a relationship storyline need to be written with a certain amount of profundity to be believable and/or effective?    
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« Reply #24 on: November 24, 2010, 11:17:11 PM »

What's so profound about relationships? They should be interesting... but I would never say profound, unless we're talking about something very unique like in Brokeback Mountain. Maybe I'm not quite following you. I found Fei/Ellie to be a bit contrived, then again, I found most of the characters in Xenogears to be kind of contrived. That game thrived off of out-there narrative, I felt it always lacked a human and realistic element. But I know others will dissagree.
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Dice
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« Reply #25 on: November 25, 2010, 12:05:50 AM »

I *HATE* the way Japanese harem/dating sims handle relationships.  They're hardly realistic, and are based on some stupid notion that a soft, awkward male idiot can attract the school's (usually) can attract any female by saying the nicer thing of the options.  The girls have their personal thing, their quirk, their drama, then their undying love based on... kindness?!

Maybe I have to replay FF8, been some time, like others in the FF story topic, I remember enjoying the character dynamic more than the story (I felt bad for Quistis - unrewarded n all).

For some reason, I always admired the subtle relationship between Estelle and Yuri in Vesperia.  The two coming from completely different backgrounds.  Not so much romantic, but I liked it for that, nothing felt forced and they bonded more naturally.  When Estelle was lost, he told her to choose what she wants to do.  She never held ill-will when Yuri became a vigilante (not the same way Luke's party in Abyss hate the guy when his *known* prophecy to destroy a city came aroud).  She's a princess, he's essentially a impoverished criminal, but they don't look at each other any differently.  They gave each other an ear and support.
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Onoda
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« Reply #26 on: November 25, 2010, 07:37:37 AM »

Interpersonal relationships bring out different aspects of us and when I say, "Whoa, I never knew that about myself" based on my relationship with another person, that's profound to me.  

Xenogears put a veil of profundity over much of its narrative.  In some ways it made the obvious seem profound.  And was it that smoke-and-mirrors profundity that perhaps made the Fei/Elly relationship in Xenogears more interesting and deeper to gamers than Squall and Rinoa's, where there wasn't smoke and mirrors transcendence.  (Though with Squall and Rinoa, I would have liked to know more about Rinoa's past with Seifer.  Seifer was a criminally underutilized character.)  

As for dating sims and love adventures (ren'ai games), I wonder if some Japanese teenage boys have actually tried using lines from ren'ai games on actual girls.  I'll bet they got their asses pointed and laughed at for being pathetic.  That being said, teasing the tsunderes in love adventures is lots of fun, because that's where the best dialogue comes out.  I think I mentioned it in my Memories Off: 2nd review how some people take ren'ai games too seriously and don't want to make the wrong move with the girl and that they should remind themselves that it's only a gosh darn video game.  

EDIT: And since we're on Xenogears, this bears plugging once again for pure awesomeness: http://www.whatdoesgodneedwithastarship.com/  Parts 30 and 31 were tummy-hurtingly funny for me because I read them during the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. 
« Last Edit: November 25, 2010, 07:52:04 AM by Dincrest » Logged

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« Reply #27 on: November 26, 2010, 02:22:01 PM »

If you look at Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton, dainty female JRPG characters, you need to remember that these are not "fake" people... people are really like that in the world.  I just don't like it.  I mean, I like looking at it, but I'm giving it cab fare the next morning, you know what I mean?

If the female is going to be underdeveloped in a JRPG...

...*rereads sentence*

oh god

*smashes monitor*

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Onoda
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« Reply #28 on: November 26, 2010, 02:42:55 PM »

I've been revisiting Septerra Core, and though it has some fanservice, it feels balanced.  Maya has sensible clothing/full body armor.  Okay, there's Led, the mechanic girl with the cut-off T-shirt, but it works for her character since she's been sheltered and overprotected by her military father, so her hormones would naturally be rebellious.  A bit fanservicey, yes, but it makes sense for her character.  Selina's very regal, so she exercises extreme modesty. 

But there are NPC harlots with their asses hanging out in some of the seedier places, like brothels.  I'd expect that.  So while there's fanservice, it doesn't feel like it's there simply for the sake of fanservice.  It feels like it makes sense in context.  Not like, say, the armor on the female knights in FF9 that looks like a one-piece swimsuit.  The "chain mail bikini" as I call it. 

Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy some fanservice like any fellow would, but many times it does border on the ridiculous. 
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« Reply #29 on: November 26, 2010, 02:58:14 PM »

Oh god, the female armor in FF9... forgot about that. That was just plain ridiculous. Especially for a country that seems to be largely matriarchal. I thought it was an interesting step to have all the best knights be female... but those costumes were just silly. Especially when compared to Beatrix, who was just badass. One of the strongest female characters in RPG history, along with Cellas (whose template she was created from) and Lightning.
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