but is it grown-up?, by Jason Hill - 3rd June 2004
The Sydney Morning Herald)
By most criteria, the games industry
has grown up. As the fastest-growing segment of
the entertainment industry, game sales are now
worth more than $50 billion a year worldwide.
Australia, more than 70 per cent of players are
over 18. But for an industry with an increasingly
large adult audience, it still suffers from an
immature attitude to sex.
controversial games have stretched the boundaries
in terms of realistic depictions of violence,
but sex remains taboo for most publishers.
the censors have played a role, with classification
guidelines stricter on the interactive realm compared
to films. There is no R18+ rating for games in
publisher, however, is beyond using sex to sell
its products, and buxom game heroines have been
common since Lara Croft first squeezed into a
tank-top a decade ago.
shameless flesh-flashing such as the abominable
BMX XXX, which featured topless bicycle riders
and strippers, is not going to earn respect.
new PC simulation in the vein of The Sims is a
promising step forward.
aim of Singles: Flirt Up Your Life is to encourage
two flatmates to get it on.
sex scenes are naturally the game's "climax",
but there is a refreshing depth to the relationships.
More revolutionary is the full-frontal nudity,
which is presented without the usual sniggering.
in testimony to how far the industry still needs
to go, close to Singles at the recent Electronic
Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles was a stand
proclaiming the (unwelcome) return of Leisure
latest exploits in Magna Cum Laude might feature
more polished presentation than his 1987 debut,
but the game showed all the maturity of a Carry
on show was Playboy: The Mansion, which lets players
assume the role of Hugh Hefner, building a swanky
mansion, holding celebrity parties and organising
photo shoots. The developers promise that it will
be class, not arse, that sells the game. We'll
Sydney Morning Herald
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