With all the controversy and protest over the disappointing ending of Mass Effect 3 mostly behind us…
now that BioWare appears to have capitulated (though just how far that capitulation will extend remains to be seen) it makes us proud that pretty much all of the controversy appears to center around how things ended, and not, you know, oh, for example, Liara’s lesbian sex scene in the game… Which is either proof that we have come a long way in our consideration of the right to emotional equality for video game characters, or we can only fixate on one thing at a time?
Sex Scenes in Video Games | Mass Effect 3
Now we bring you the Top 3 Sex Scenes in Video Games starting with the ones on the bottom (no pun intended):
03 Sex Scenes in Video Games | Heavy Rain
2010 Quantic Dream / Sony Computer Entertainment
The Interactive nature of the sex scene from Heavy Rain in which in addition to the passionate kissing and heavy breathing, gamers were given a QTE of button presses and controller motions in order to undress their partner – a frequently commented element to the process that it appears had a lot to do with this video game sex scene making the Number 03 spot…
The closer we get to the top the more the quality shifts from simply shocking towards sex scenes that are within the context of the story being told. But then Heavy Rain is itself much more than the average game play experience, having been variously declared the future of the genre and an instant classic, with its game play blurring the lines between movie and game to the point that sometimes you ended up wondering which that it was?
When Heavy Rain came in at the Number 3 spot it was not a surprise – it is very obvious that the sex scene embedded below is neither gratuitous nor inappropriate and that it actually served an important function in the telling of the story that is still unfolding, with the protagonist seeking – and finding – human comfort in the arms of another, even as he wonders at the stability of his own sanity.
The point behind the Top Sex Scenes in Video Games is not how they compare to each other, but rather how high that each one rates in the minds of the gamers who voted for them, and it is not really all that surprising that there was a mixture of types, and that the sex scenes that were an integral part of the story being told ended up at the top of the list.
The fact is that this scene in Heavy Rain was both tastefully and professionally created and that it represents a closer view of what realistically might have happened between these two characters – with a healthy dose of emotions mixed in – than it does the usual justification for Sex Scenes in Video Games, which usually has more in common with enthusiastic exercise than love and emotion.
When Heavy Rain was released it is likely that the studio had some inkling that there might be a bit of initial controversy — so the Quantic Dream boss, David Cage, got right in front of the issue in order to take control of and own it rather than allowing it to end up owning the studio, explaining in an exclusive interview with PSM3 Magazine that the scenes were about “real characters doing what adults do when they fall in love.”
02 Sex Scenes in Video Games | Indigo Prophecy
2005 Quantic Dreams / Atari
What has been only half-jokingly called the “Guitar Hero” of Sex Scenes in Video Games, the seduction of Tiffany by protagonist Lucas Kane in Indigo Prophecy begins with his playing the electric guitar for a QTE event in which the player must finesse the joysticks before ending up in bed with Tiffany, where they finesse… Well… Tiffany!
As odd as that may sound, this sex scene is the number 2 most voted and is the second scene and video game to make the list from Quantic — but the amazing thing is that this one came out a full five years before the scene from Heavy Rain!
If you are wondering how this sex scene — and this game — managed to be released in 2005 without pulling in the level of attention and controversy that titles like Mass Effect and Dragon Age did, perhaps the reason for the lack of protest over the sex scenes in indigo Prophecy has to do with the fact that it was a heterosexual scene in a game that was released from the start as an adults-only title, carrying the ESRB Rating of Adults Only, 18 and over?
Bearing in mind that US release of the game — which was titled Indigo Prophecy — is substantially different than the game as it was released in the rest of the world, under the title Fahrenheit. What was the difference? Well, largely it was in what was taken out for the release in the US, which was a lot of the nudity and sex. On the one hand a point was made that the nudity and sex in the game was all within the context of the story and tastefully done, but on the other hand the game was published by Atari in North America and it needed to be able to be sold at your local area WalMart Store, so the self-censorship made a certain sense…
So what we end up with is a game that contains a sex scene that is absolutely necessary to the story, a sex scene that was edited to remove the more steamy aspects, and yet nevertheless it was still so powerful a moment in the game that it made it almost all the way to the top of the list in the memory of gamers. No matter how you measure it that is a good sex scene.
01 Sex Scenes in Video Games | The Witcher 2
2011 CD Projekt Red / Atari
There were a number of sex scenes in The Witcher 2 but this is the one that garnered the most votes for number one — in spite of the cheesy dialogue (which sounds a lot sexier in French as you can see). As the scene unfolds the measure of tension between the two characters is palpable, the addition of humor combined with awkwardness about as realistic as it gets…
The beauty of this is that it really needs no explanation, and needs no defense — it is a masterpiece of video game sex and proof-in-concept that sometimes what you see is what you get.
Well there you have it — the Top 3 Sex Scenes in Video Games — a collection of some of the most outrageous and offensive moments in video game history that are counterbalanced by a collection of some of the most touching and inanimate moments in video game history. The issues that are associated with depicting this level of intimacy in video games are a perennial challenge, as the same basic arguments for and against crop up to be used in evaluating the video games that were released that year, and the same open question remains.
When the sex scene is necessary to the story, it gets in, and sometimes when it is purely gratuitous, it gets in. Sometimes when it is left out it still gets in, and in the end they all end up fixed solidly in the minds of gamers, whose memory for things like the best sex scenes in a video game is slow to fade. We find that fact interesting.
Did we miss a game you thought should be included? Did the voters get it wrong? Share your opinion by commenting below!