GDC 08: Brenda Brathwaite supports sex in video games

Game Developers Conference 2008 - Image 1Are video game developers afraid of including sex in their products? We do know that graphical sex scenes almost warrant an Adults Only (AO) rating from the ESRB, making it a no-no for titles that need to sell more than a few copies to earn profit. Veteran game designer Brenda Brathwaite, however, believes that there should be no discrimination against games that teach the art of making love. More of her insights are at the full article.

Brenda Brathwaite - Image 1Video game industry veterans and aspiring game developers weren’t the only ones present at the Game Developers Conference 2008. The founder of the International Game Developers Association’s Sex special interest group, Brenda Brathwaite, was also there for her Hentai, Hardcore, and Hotties talk to discuss about developers’ fear of including sex in games.

Brathwaite was quoted saying, “Developers are terrified of putting sex in games in case they get an AO (Adults Only) rating, which is the kiss of death.” She did not fail to mention that Best Buy, Wal-Mart, and Target won’t be taking in AO-rated games – a damaging blow to any potential sales.

True enough, Rockstar Games encountered a lot of problems when one of its Grand Theft Auto titles had a graphic sex minigame. While Manhunt 2 was free of any loving and abundant on killing, Rockstar also protested against its initial AO rating.

While Brathwaite admits that the decision not to include sex to avoid discrimination by the ratings system is reasonable, Brathwaite doesn’t appear to be happy about the practice since educational sex games are being thrown out the window.

“For example, you can make a game about safe sex for teenagers, and it would automatically get an AO rating,” Brathwaite explained, then pointed out that ratings don’t leave space for consideration of serious, educational sex games.

On the other hand, Brathwaite expressed her dismay in the negative reception of BioWare’s Mass Effect when talks about its sex scene became commonplace. She asked her audience, “Why is that not OK? Why is that not alright?” Brathwaite then continued, “If we don’t have any sex in games at all, we’re going to end up with just those happy Disney games.”

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