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Sex in video games is rubbish in pretty much every way, and it should be better

Let’s talk about sex. Specifically, why sex in video games is so awful. I’m not against titillation, but for all the boasts of ‘most realistic graphics yet’ and the rise of emotive storylines, sex is still depicted as soulless mannequins lifelessly rubbing their downstairs bits together, interchanged with lovingly rendered nipples and the classic fade-to-black transition.

Maybe I’m still traumatised by David ‘I don’t like game mechanics’ Cage’s QTE sex scene in Heavy Rain. It was bad enough watching Ethan and Madison’s woodenly animated mouths go at each other like hungry carp, but having to ‘press X to commence rutting’ made me feel as empty as my Valentine’s Day Pot Noodle For One tradition. Good grief, you don’t even get a trophy for this freak show.

Sex is always going to be an awkward topic in a medium that is vastly consumed by young people. But I feel that as games become more progressive with romance plotlines and sexual diversity, we deserve a higher level of quality in the rumpty that accompanies these stories; not just in terms of animation, but dialogue and tone too. Sex in real life is fun, emotional, intimate, and I’ve yet to find a game that does it justice.

Instead, you get cringe-worthy conversations (“Come alive with me tonight, Thane!”), clumsy movements and a sense of immaturity, pulling you out of the scene the developer is trying to portray. I’m looking at you, every single Bioware character.

Thanks to modern motion capture technology, developers are able to animate the most subtle of movements in Nathan Drake’s rugged face. So why can’t we get the same attention to detail when it comes to Yennefer and Geralt mucking around on the back of a stuffed unicorn in The Witcher 3? Especially then. It’d certainly make developers’ behind-the-scenes videos far more interesting: watching spandex-and-bauble-clad mo- cap actors roll around. Come on, devs! Stop making the act of bumping uglies so ugly!

And now that I’ve written this article, I’m off to clear my Google Search history.

This article originally appeared in Official PlayStation Magazine. For more great PlayStation coverage, you can subscribe here.