Sex in Video Games: How far will it go?
We've all seen it in most video games, that 'M' for mature. But how far will the games go at displaying sexual activities? A few games that come to mind for myself include the Sims franchise, God of War, Fable Series, and a bit in Assassin's Creed: II.
So parents, I know that M is rateable for blood and gore as well as sexual content, but you might want to take a better look at what games your children are playing. God of War for example, is definitely full of blood and gore, but also has sexual themes in specific parts, which don't terribly affect the game story.
A great example of harmless sexual presence in a game would be Assassin's Creed: II. In the opening scene, you see a man coerce a woman. It doesn't show anything but I think we all know what's going on. This scene just starts out the story of Ezio Auditore, and is found as very harmless and not so out-there. A way it can be seen as harmless is due to the fact it's not optional. It's a story-mode.
Another game that has a tiny bit of sexual themes includes the Fable Series. Although you become a great hero or villain, you have the choice of selecting someone to marry and have a child with. It is just harmless, yet pretty uncomfortable, flirting. Unlike The Sims, the game doesn't evolve in such way, and it's more of an achievement type activity, than any for game-value.
Seriously, why is this even here?
A game in which sexual themes don't really matter would be God of War. An optional part in the beginning of the game is to jump in bed with a few women, and although the game doesn't view the activity, you can hear the noises in the background. My question would be, why include this within the game? It doesn't particularly add to the story, it's more of an easter-egg type of feature that only a few would find if they were curious enough.
Where sex matters
Some games out there count on sexual themes to separate them from the herd. One to name in particular is The Sims. The game is based around living the life of a person, and sexual themes are bound to come up. They can censor it as much as they want, but it's become a key activity in the game. Meet a Sim you like, court them for a while, then do the dirty deed. Not only does that make a key factor in the game, but it also counts on the idea of family, and that requires reproducing (unless you plan on Sim-adopting).
Why does sexual content matter?
Personally I don't have a problem with games that include this material, but I wouldn't distribute it out to my younger family members. I find that they can sometimes take a great game and smack that M rating on it for silly choices, that don't per say affect the game's story or goals.
A funny video comes to mind that I found on YouTube, Warning: Sexual Content, named La Vie Sexuelle des Jeux Vidéo (Sex in Video Games), by Suricate. It slyly mocks games that have sexual actions.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter. What games do you think share this useless nonsense, or do you think it heightens the game? Comment and share your opinion.