The Sex in Videogames conference is coming up later this week (June 8-9, 2006). While sex and games has gotten a lot of press with the Hot Coffee mod, there’s been less press on the potential for games to deliver sexy and informative content.
For informative content, Iser games has just released two versions of a sex education game. One is a sex education trivia game for general use in schools or to help parents open a discussion about sex with their kids and the other is a similar sex education game that’s abstinence-focused.
Black Love Interactive also has informative games, but their games tend to be focused on the erotic side of gaming rather than than being purely informative. Their games include “WTF?! Sex Trivia” and “Rapture Online,” both of which seek to offer sexually stimulating fun.
While both the informative and the sexy approaches are useful for thinking about sex and games, the Sex in Videogame conference also offers a forum for discussions on how games can address sex and sexuality more generally. Since so many games have been developed for all ages, sex often hasn’t been as major of a component as it could be in gaming. Some games have incorporated sex and sexuality into their narratives, and into their general play. But sex is still an awkward and clunky subject for many others (after all, how often do we see games with other than heterosexual player-characters). And, as more sex gets incorporated into games, gaming will need to change media perceptions of gaming such that any adult content doesn’t risk the “Adults Only” label which seems more like the movie industries “NC-17″ than the likely more appropriate “R.” Hopefully the sex and videogames conference will bring up and help improve representations, and perceptions, of sex and sexuality in games.
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Alternative Games is an independent webzine focused on all forms of unorthodox gaming, eccentric game culture, and problematic play.
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