Bioware Says Video Game Sex Just Makes Sense
In a recent interview with CVG, Bioware co-founder Greg Zeschuk revisits the old Mass Effect sex scene controversy that haunted the game at its release. He discusses why it shouldn’t have been an issue at all, and the role he thinks that sex has in future games.
“It’s interesting because I think the Mass Effect thing was completely over-blown. There wasn’t even really nudity; it was like the side of a leg. I think some of the press took huge advantage of the situation. The reality was that it was the kind of stuff you’d see on evening television.”
“That said, I think from our perspective we want to reflect real human relationships. If you’re trying to have a relationship with a character we want to reflect that and the impact of the connection with that character. And if that involves some sort of intimate scenes, we want to provide those for the player.”
“It’s based on the fact that this is a sophisticated, mature experience.”
He’s exceptionally right, the scene itself is incredibly tame, but because it was more or less the first of its kind in a mainstream game, it stirred up all sorts of trouble from outraged parents. I’ve embedded the video of the encounter in question below. Beware of five seconds of blue alien ass, but it’s PG-13 without a doubt.
The context of the scene in the game is important as well. As Commander Shepherd, you’ve spent more or less the last 8-12 in-game hours getting to know Liara, an alien scientist you rescued. You’ve discussed her culture, her family and her importance to you. You began flirting for a while and then nearly kissed her before being interrupted. The sex scene takes place as you’re about to head into the game’s final climactic battle which you’re almost sure you’re not coming back from.
I describe this in depth to show that it’s a logical, flowing part of the story, and not a jarring porno scene injected for shock value. It’s a natural progression of the character arc, but most people complaining about it’s inclusion aren’t even willing to admit that video game characters can have arcs.
So judging by this interview, I’m sure we’ll see more man/woman/alien lovin’ in Mass Effect 2, but I would hope that the gates have been opened for other games to include similar story lines. It’s almost laughable that I can chainsaw someone in half in Gears of War, but an onscreen consensual intimate experience between two people is the apocalypse. Thought I’m not surprised, the same issue has plagued the film and TV industry for years, it only stands to reason that video games would be the next target of this “moral crusade.”