Why is it so hard to represent sexuality in videogames?

Videogames and sex don’t usually sit well together in a sentence in our cultural imagination, unless the sentence is something like “nerds who play videogames don’t have a lot of sex.” But why is there such an uneasy connection between games and one of the most essential human experiences that has propelled countless other works of art in, well, basically every other medium? Rich Stanton writes in Eurogamer:

There is something furtive about videogames and sex – a shyness, you could call it, or perhaps simply it’s a fear. Videogame sex goes for serious, and ends up ridiculous. We snicker at the lame setups, corny dialogue, the soft plink-plonk of piano music in the background – and most of all at the idea someone, anywhere finds this arousing.

But if history, and Asia’s huge interactive erotica market, show anything it is that sex sells. Sex is the number one interest of the human race, and every medium is fated to try and capture it. It feels like something that’s never been done right, but who knows how long it will take for a game that changes minds. For now, we have Sepe’s Cumshot. If you fancy a challenge, beat it.

Perhaps games need to think less about sex in terms of its potential for representation and arousal and more as a theme of inquiry, an area of human interaction and relation that has its own unique potential to be reinterpreted in gameplay.

Yannick LeJacq

[via Eurogamer]