It’s a longtime discussion in the video game world… Where do we draw the line on what’s appropriate and what’s not? And an important topic in this discussion has always been why we are so limiting of sexual content when violence seems to have no restrictions. Steam’s Greenlight has brought the conversation to the front page of video game news once again.
Valve took down a submission on their new Greenlight feature for “offensive content.” The game, Seduce Me, describes itself as an erotic light strategy game. The point of the game is to play mini games to seduce different woman in hope of eventually getting to see some skin. The game seems simple enough, and to me almost more childish than offensive. I can’t say I’d actually play this game, because mini-games and cartoon boobs aren’t my cup of tea, but I don’t find it terribly offensive.
But after reading “The Escapists’s” article Developer Blames “American Culture” for Greenlight Ban and their source article No Sex Please, We’re Gamers from the GamesIndustry International it’s clear Valve doesn’t share the same opinion. Seduce Me was pulled from Steam’s Greenlight program after only an hour after it was submitted. The developers received an e-mail from Valve that simply said their game was pulled because it went against the guidelines of Steam’s Greenlight.
I understand how this game could be conceived as inappropriate or offensive to some gamers, and I don’t think children should have easy access to a game like this. But when it comes down to it video games are an artful media just like paintings and movies. Sex scenes in these mediums are rarely refused from movie theaters and art galleries/museums. It’s an accepted fact that if you go to see an R rated movie or step into an art museum you might see a breast or a penis.
Frankly it’s just the human body. And even though sexual intercourse is a tabooed subject in the United States it’s something that everyone does. You wouldn’t be here today if your parents didn’t do it, and neither would your siblings. We should be celebrating this part of being human. If you ever want to have a family of your own you’re going to have to know about sex. It’s just part of life.
What’s not a part of life is the extreme violence seen in video games. Graphic killing, blood, beheadings, mutations, and torture can be seen in all types of popular video games. Take Grand Theft Auto, where players can steal cars, murder prostitutes, and go on rampaging killing streaks taking down innocent civilians and police at the same time. This kind of violence is not part of our daily life. It seems like the morals of Valve and the American Public are a little mixed up if we can buy GTA on Steam but not Seduce Me.
I’m not saying that I find games like Grand Theft Auto immoral or offensive, but I do find them more risqué than a mini game centered strategy game where the goal is to pick up chicks on the beach. I’ll never understand why mass killings and graphic violence will be allowed in video games, and what you and your wife are going to do tonight isn’t. It’s time for America to start breaking down what’s appropriate and not, and start reevaluating how we’re censoring our video game content.