Jimquisition: Sexual Failing

chiefohara

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WouldYouKindly said:
Wait, there's such a thing as high class porn?


As for the Friend Zone... while I'm sure everyone by now believes that it's about expecting sex for favors, an actual friend zone is when a girl shamelessly flirts with you for favors, without having any intention of starting a relationship, sexual or not.

I have to say Jim, this one seems negative for the sake of it. Pulling a bit of satire is fine, but pointing fingers at them for this, because of a tabloid headline I might add, is not "channeling your rage at the right targets".
There's very little I agree with you on this and I think you're taking a negative approach without thinking it through.
For one thing, developers are now forced to actually portray these things, instead of just adding a bit of flavor text(like Fallout), back in the day. Try to be mature about it, instead of just seeing a womans body being exploited.
Thank you.

You summed it up very eloquently, and i totally agree with your position on this.

Don't get me wrong Jim, im a big fan and i have a lot of time for your opinions, but i can't agree with you totally on this.

Maybe it boils down to the player or the semantics of how different relationships are seen in Mass Effect or DA:O, but as a 32 year old man, ill view and enjoy the 'relationship simulator' in a completely different way that a 13 year old boy will.

Mass effect and DA:O are great role playing games and depending on the role you want to play it caters for it. You want to be a sleazebag you can be a sleazebag, you want to be a virtuous person waiting for your 'love' (mass effect 2, looking at the photo of a loved one instead of a sex pay off prior the last mission) you can.

DA:2 Aveline Vallen was the character i found most appealing in my roleplay but i couldn't romance her. They did an innocent version of the friend zone thing there which i considered fun.

I'd slap Duke Nukem with these accusations, but Bioware.... we'd have to agree to disagree Jim.
 

cynicalsaint1

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Jimothy Sterling said:
Goliath100 said:
Why do this feel like filler episode? Maybe because this should be bloody obvious for everyone. Know what, would probably be more progressive and mature to just make it a one-night stand and drop the talking.
I can assure you this is not filler material. In fact, I attempted to do this episode in my pre-Escapist, non-scripted days and only gave up because I got pissed off fucking up what I was trying to say. I've been looking for an excuse to revisit the topic for about four years now, and relished the chance to do it again.

So yeah, this is FAR from filler. Kinda sad you feel it looks like it is, but trust me, I've been waiting for this one.
Oy.
That makes this even more disappointing - I mean you're ragging on the one series that is actually making effort with this sort of thing. I mean I can think of at least two counter examples to your "Sex shouldn't be a reward just for being nice to someone" rant out of DA2:

-Aveline, who you can flirt with and attempt to romance, but she won't even pick up on it because she has eyes for someone else

-Sebastian who you CAN romance but never actually have sex with b/c he's taken a vow of chastity

I mean I'll give you that ME tends to constantly run with "Sex is the ultimate reward for the romance plot" thing, but Dragon Age has very much not done that - you have characters like Zeveran and Isabella who are totally willing to have a quick fling with you and the sex part happens early on, but actually winning their heart is a much different matter.
 

deathjavu

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Caostotale said:
The whole idea that the gaming industry can provide a mature, adult experience is about as ridiculous as thinking that TV shows, blockbuster films, or pop music tracks can provide mature, adult experiences. By and large, those sectors of the entertainment industry only succeed because they provide a constant supply of adolescent fantasy fodder, i.e. that territory of primal 'feeding, f*#king, fighting' wish-fulfillment that attracts people of all ages. If people wanted to act adult or mature, they probably wouldn't bother playing games, watching movies, listening to sexually-charged music, etc... These things provide escapes from the perceived dreariness of adult life, act as denials of one's own mortality, serve as outlets from a life beset by limitations, etc... If anything, as the economy presses further on towards the global capitalist peak, these forms of entertainment are bound to become even more immature, more pandering to the above-mentioned three F's. At least that's how I felt after seeing footage of recent hits like GTA V.
"You're right, video games are just for kids! In fact, why are you playing them at all, you faux-cynical twentysomething? Video games aren't for you, they're solely designed to provide a stream of colorful lights and pretty sounds to small children! Storylines and such are never going to have a place in games, the tiny buggers wouldn't get it anyway! Video games are just toys for kids."

-Your same argument, circa 1995

"You're right, TV is just news and cartoons, it'll never be a real medium. It's just cheap entertainment to keep kids occupied and a conveniently updfated newspaper! There's no room for deep stories in television, it's not a profitable model when they can just keep pumping out cartoons and terrible sitcoms."

-Your same argument, circa 1955

"What is this rubbish? Moving pictures? How could you possibly tell an actual story with such base and simplistic methods? It will never match the storytelling potential of radio without sound, and thusly it is reduced to a poor substitute for a book! Why, this expensive knockoff will never be more than a base thrill, a gaudy trinket for the unlettered!"

-Your same argument, circa 1915

"Cinqa dreck upa tse tcheck, spa ilt veh oct lig! Doge pilt em ir lei owst,...."

-Your same argument, circa 8,000 b.c., speaker argues that this new "writing" will never compare to oral storytelling traditions because it doesn't have the emotional weight of a speaker telling a story, etc.

They were wrong, and so are you!

(yeah, it would've been more effective to list games that subvert your point, but this was funnier.)
 

silverhawk100

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Comparing ME/DA's romances to Dead or Alive Volleyball is a bit unfair because I liken the whole romance affair to playing with dolls and pairing them up just to see what happens. You can divorce the sexuality and titillation from a game like Dragon Age; you can't do that with Dead or Alive. For example, I know someone who played Dragon Age solely for the Alistair romance because she wanted to play out a Princess Bride-like fantasy and Alistair is a bit like Wesley. She mashed the "give me a kiss" dialogue whenever she was starting to get bored of the game (which I found hilarious watching her do it), and never really went for the (almost totally optional) sex scenes.

I know people try to do that with Dead or Alive, but they always have to preface their explanation of the gameplay with some comment downplaying the sexuality, which means that sexuality is inseparable from the gameplay of that game.

That said, constantly using the same formula for Romance means that... well... you're Bioware and you can only make one game with different settings and backgrounds.
 

Serafis

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Ponyholder said:
Is it sad that a game made by people from 4chan (Katawa Shoujo) actually has better idea of what sex is?
No. Traditionally eroge has always been a strong platform for romance when you're looking for story. Yume Miru Kusuri is still amongst my favourite eroge of all time, even though the stuff by Key are also very good. It's the reason why I followed Leigh Alexander back then as well, because her articles back in 2007 spoke to my niche. i'll even link YMK's review by Leigh too.

http://www.gamesetwatch.com/2007/07/yume_miru_kusuri_falling_in_lo.php

I tried HARD to get the good ending for Mizuki and Aeka, because I was devestated by their bad ends.

But ya, when you're running a platform that doesn't care about social norms, you run into these things.

Heck, in contemporary games, Ico handled human sexuality quite well, putting intimacy above superficial shenanigans like Mass Effect. Even Shadow of the Colossus does it quite well as well, though in a much shorter span of story.
 

Sushewakka

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Hawkeye21 said:
Sushewakka said:
After using the Warden to complete her Old God Baby plot, or after the Warden refuses to play his role in that plot, she leaves. Surprise, she has her own agenda and motivations, and will see them finished, the Warden becoming little more than an obstacle at this point. She might feel a tinge of regret and be conflicted about her newfound ability to feel emotions, but she's her own person with her own plans.

There, that's your conclusion. She leaves you.
There is no resolution in this so called "conclusion"
Again. She leaves you. That's the resolution. That you don't find that conclussion to your liking is a different matter altogether.
 

Caostotale

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deathjavu said:
(yeah, it would've been more effective to list games that subvert your point, but this was funnier.)
Yes, you're brilliantly hilarious...you needn't underscore such things with a blunt reminder.

Now that you've gotten all that straw off of your chest, how about listing those games.
 

Sofus

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I have to agree with Jim on most of this. There is just one problem, you see guys who aren't interested in a relationship or something slightly less long term with a woman usually won't pay much attention to her, or the girl ends up being "one of the guys", which is often not how they want to be treated.

I'm not going to listen to a mountain of emotional banter (real life or gaming.. it really doesn't matter) unless the reward involves something other than just having had the "privileg" of listening to it.

Friends talk about their interests. Stuff such as work, sports, holidays, stories, technology, getting drunk, gaming etc. Guys (not saying they don't exist, but I have never met anyone) don't want to listen to someone boo-hooing about some emotional crap that either don't have easy and logical solutions or that simply aren't important to the listener.

edit

Disclaimer:
Talking about emotional stuff with friends is okay so long as beer is involved. The purpose should ofcourse always be the beer
 

Zer0Saber

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Well, in the first Dragon Age game, if you get Morrigan to admit she is in love with you and the player says their in love with her she won't have sex with the player anymore. they still kiss and and she will say things about their relationship, but no more sex. You could have sex with her before because it was meaningless but if you get to a serious relationship the sex stops, and in order to get to that point you actually have to say things to her that lowers her disposition towards you. that's kinda the opposite of his argument.
 

Kenjitsuka

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Really a missed chance to yell "Look at dem EMOTIONZ!!!" in your awesome impression of David Cage when they where making out in those Heavy Rain clips!!!
 

endtherapture

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You know what games did sex well?

1. Baldur's Gate 2: Some of the romances didn't have sex as the endgame at all, just part of the relationship. Sex was just random in Viconia's romance, and in Aerie's romance it deals with the consequences of sex with an insecure person. Also you can have a baby with Aerie.

2. The Witcher 2: Sex is just a thing. It's not the be-all and end-all of Geralt's and Triss' relationship, just something you can do. Very realistic approach to sex. You bang in the games opening scene pretty much, no big deal.
 

kunymonster

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One of the best episodes you've ever done. I don't always agree with what you say on the show but damn, you hit the nail on the head.
 

Imp_Emissary

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Legion said:
Imp Emissary said:
Legion said:
Imp Emissary said:
Was kind of talking about this with a friend a bit ago.
I really wish they replaced the sex scenes with something a little more interesting to do. Like say taking them out on dates as a mini quest after you make the relationship "official". Get to know the characters, just for the sake of getting to know them. Instead of getting to know them so you can get into their pants easier.
Then the game gets called a dating simulator and the "You need a girlfriend/boyfriend" comments start. On the Bioware forums a lot of people wanted this for Mass Effect 2 as DLC or in Mass Effect 3. The people against it stated the above as the reason for why it shouldn't. They saw it as perpetuating the lonely nerd stereotype.
xD Don't people already make those comments?
Naturally. I get the impression most people do it as a defensive reaction out of fear of being seen as a typical geek. Although why somebody would be bothered about that while spending time on a gaming forum is beyond me. I do not know of any "non-geeky" people who do it, so by that point the threshold has been crossed really.

Also, as for it being called a "dating sim", I guess I'd have to ask; So?

They already kind of are, except we don't get to send as much time just learning about the character. And as for the "you Girlfriend/Boyfriend" thing, I know of a fair amount of people who play Mass Effect/Dragon Age who take the romances "seriously", and who are married in real life.
No argument from me, I am not bothered by people calling them that. I don't see anything wrong with getting invested in fiction.

The "dates" wouldn't be there to make the characters into a substitute for a spouse, but rather they would be there so we could get to learn more about the characters. Something I would imagine people who really like the characters would enjoy.

The most interesting thing about sleeping with Isabela in Dragon Age 2 was that you could then learn more about her past.
That is why I don't really agree that Bioware are that bad with them. In Mass Effect it can be worse, but in Dragon Age the romances are pretty much the only way to learn certain things about the characters, and in most cases are entirely miss-able. If it was made for pandering and as a "goal" it wouldn't be something you could quite easily miss if you aren't paying attention.

That isn't to say they couldn't be written better, but the only time I really felt like it was "Say nice things and get to sex" was Mass Effect 2.

As for the dates themselves, they don't necessarily have to just be going to some restaurant or something "ordinary" like that.

It could, like I said, be a quest you do with just them.
Like exploring a derelict Geth ship with Tali, going sailing with Isabela (and most likely having to fight off raiders), or going off with Garrus to practice shooting.

Heck, some off those things are already done with the characters, and you don't even need to be in a relationship with them to go. In fact, it would just be nice to be able to do more quests with your companions, and get to know them better while playing the game.

The "dates" wouldn't need to be too different from that, except in the narrative the player's character is in a relationship with them.
That was the kind of thing I was hoping for with Mass Effect 3. Bioware excels at character arcs much more than overall stories, so I wanted to them to concentrate on making the personal stories for the companions quite a large focus. I recall saying on the Bioware forums some time ago that they don't really need to make the relationships and friendships all that different. Certain aspects sure, seeing as friendships and relationships are not different purely because of sex, but they don't need to be entirely based upon being "romance".
I agree with ya about how Bioware is with characters. They do tend to do a very good job with them.

As for Jim's show today. I think what he's more miffed about is that they talk about their sex scenes being "adult", and "mature".

He argues that they aren't because the sex itself is "shallow". There are a few cases in Dragon Age were the sex does kind of matter, but a lot of the time "it's done, and then it's done". Nothing much comes from it later in the game.

The relationships continue, and it comes up in conversation once or twice, but not much more than that most of the time.

For an example of when it can have a bit more meaning; when you and Morrigan can have a child together, or make Alistair/Loghain do it.

Or in Dragon Age 2, when you can ask Merrill to move in with you.

Now that's not to say that every sexual encounter has to have such meaning. As Isabela herself said, "What I do is only skin deep".
Though it would be nice if after sex the relationship could go somewhere from there more often.

Heck, the real big changes of the two examples I gave take place mostly off screen.

That's why I think it would be nice if they added in more things that the characters can to together, that isn't sex.
For one, I found being able to kiss your love interest in Origins to be more "intimate" than the sex.
 

mjc0961

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I didn't realize that miniature fantasy Willem Dafoe looked so much like real Willem Dafoe until the close-up with the dragon dildo in this episode. Cool, now I want one. (Side note, Beyond Two Souls is pretty good but it would have been even better with more Willem Dafoe in it. He needed more screen time methinks. Actually that's just as much serious as it is a joke, they could have shown more of the relationship between Jodie and Nathan.)

Also thank you for making fun of the really bad, awkward, and unneeded sex scene in Heavy Rain. I actually missed the sex scene in Beyond, but once I have to see it to get the trophy for seeing it, I imagine I'll find myself wishing I had never gone back to see it because it will probably be just as bad. Developers should just lay off showing two characters getting intimate like that until technology improves enough to where they can make it look good rather than like something they drudged up from the deepest depths of the uncanny valley. Hell, God of War has better sex scenes than Mass Effect, Heavy Rain, and probably Beyond because God of War just pans the camera away from Kratos and whoever the lady of the game is and focuses on a jar rattling around or something. (Well, better in terms of what you see on screen, anyway. Not sure it's much better in terms of its presentation of getting to have some sex.)

Oh, and I'm still sad that Keith David wouldn't fuck me in Saints Row 4. =(
 

Rabidkitten

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Oh god sex in video games is horrible. Watching uncanny valley robot CG characters that have been animated dry humping is unsettling at best. Its even worse if someone else happens to be watching. The lead up to sex in games is pretty trite but then again the giving and receiving of sex in real life is also pretty trite. Lets face it, there are 6 billion people on the planet and that's a lot of fucking. Its not some special thing, though we like to dress it up like it is because its more typical human narcissistic fulfillment.
 

Rad Party God

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Mcoffey said:
That's why I think the Witcher 2 handles sex the best. It's not portrayed as a "reward", or the culmination of anything. It's just something Geralt does every now and then when he feels like it. Much like a person does in real life.

Captcha: "And that's the way it is". Yes it is, Captcha. Yes it is.

EDIT: Also can I just say how terribly I'm looking forward to the reaction to this vid at the Bioware Social Network? I can only imagine the rage at Jim for calling out their precious romances. It will be glorious!
Ironically a lot of people call The Witcher's sex scenes "distasteful" and "out of place" on a gritty, sleazy and corrupt fantasy world, while they keep bangin' Anders in a gay romance. At least The Witcher is honest about it, it doesn't get as pretentious as BioWare's games*.

[small]*Disclaimer: I love BioWare's games, but I can't help but to think they can get a bit pretentious sometimes...[/small]
 

Dragonbums

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I agree.

I think the saddest part is that fanfiction smut of Bioware (and possibly any videogame sex scene fanfiction) handles this stuff a lot better than the games itself.

It's pretty noticeable when you bang your Turian boyfriend, and aside from a few other token romance scenes, you guys communicate like you didn't just shag the bed to oblivion the night before.

I feel that for sex scenes in romance options they should make the actual sex part a chance of numbers. When you hit what would be considered the maximum romance level, you may or may not get the sex. Either the NPC feels like they want to, or they don't, and there is nothing you can do about it.

I also think that outside of battle benefits (like working in a team gives you defense boosts) there are no in game benefits to romancing any character.

That weeds out the people who are only in it for the sex, and those who are only doing it for pure benefits.