Bitmob delves a bit deeper into the various potential sexual escapades of characters in Bioware’s upcoming epic Dragon Age: Origins. It would seem that after the tame-but-maligned-by-Fox-news hot alien lesbian sex scene from Mass Effect, the team’s kicked it up a notch. Unfortunately, based on writer Demian Linn’s experience, they’ve not done it that well.
I am all for sex in games, provided it fits in with the storyline. As Linn says, sexual encounters can be a way to build empathy and connectedness with characters. Of course, the great risk is the still prevalent view of big media that games are for children, and exclusively so; that’s changing, to be sure, but make no mistake: a lot of people still think games are toys for kids, and they’d hit the roof if they found out that some games include heavy petting.
What troubles me about Linn’s experiences (he used an exquisitely choreographed multiplicity of saves to screw and screw and screw all possible options) is that the sex in Dragon Age looks trite, not heavily influenced by the story, and – most frustrating of all – sticking to cliches that are adolescent at best and blatantly misogynist at worst.
I remember the first time I hooked up in a video game: Wing Commander 3. I chose the redhead, Flint, because I figured everyone was going to choose the blonde alternative since she was played by a porn star and Flint wasn’t. The extent of the scene was some tonsil tennis and a fade to black. Titillating!
I seriously violated the Jedi Code of Ethics – and Bastila – in Knights of the Old Republic; she and I tapped repeatedly whenever we found the crew quarters empty… though again, it was just a fade to black after an uncomfortable conversation where Bastila protested that this was wrong, we shouldn’t be together, blah blah blah.
In Mass Effect I wanted to do the Pink Ranger (that’s what I called her, her real name was Ashley) even though she was a complete bigot and kind of a bitch as well. But she was human, and Liara, the other love interest, was… look, she was blue. She had tentacles on her head. I’m not saying that interracial boning is wrong, it’s just… I don’t know, tentacles. It would be like fucking a neoprene wetsuit. So I guess that does say something about me as a person that I preferred the racist, angry human over the tolerant and ethereal blue girl with TENTACLES ON HER HEAD. Anyway, I messed it up because the Pink Ranger never warmed up to my advances, that bitch, and Liara did, and even though she told me that her hot hot alien psychic sex powers would literally blow my mind, I told her to buzz off, which I felt bad about later because she seemed really hurt and it was kind of a “we’ll be dead in like an hour, so we should bang just because” situation.
Of course Mass Effect and KOTOR both came from Bioware, which is also responsible for Dragon Age. The company’s serious and genuine about human relationships among characters in games, and they rightly believe that sex is a part of that. I wish their writers were not all dateless 14-year-olds, but we take what we can get. Bioware’s likely better prepared for any kerfuffle in the mainstream media, but in truth I was hoping they’d more elegantly integrate the romantic aspects of the game than it appears they have.