Four months ago, the world of gaming journalism collectively twisted their panties and dissected the idea of a mainstream porn game.
Seduce Me, an erotic strategy game that features characters who make the main cast of Sex and the City look frugal, was denied release on Steam, sparking a debate among the power elite of mainstream gaming press about what sort of place a game that prominently displays vaginal penetration could share with something like Halo.
Despite not getting distributed by Steam, developers No Reply have released the game to lukewarm reception. This should not be a surprise, as the game never intended to be akin to Super Mario Galaxy 3. The only thing shocking is every publication continuing to hide behind the supposed “controversy” of the game’s release. With all due respect to No Reply, nobody would have heard of Seduce Me had a scoop not been created about it being denied entry into the playground of the normal gamer.
Admittedly, the beginning of every new year is a low time for games. We are all still in hangover mode from the onslaught of holiday releases and thankful we have those games on our hands to distract us from how empty our wallets will be for a little while. Besides the pending demise of THQ, not much has taken place since we all woke up from our drunken December 31-January 1 shenanigans.
Thanks to this, Seduce Me’s quiet release right before Christmas did not garner the same amount of press as that of its previous banishing from Steam. Were this a monumental occasion that shook the very foundation of what it means to play a video game, giving us cause to question what it means to hold a controller in our hands and perhaps question the very nature of gaming.
As it stands, Seduce Me is a collection of card games that get in the way of images of people fucking. The revolution will have to wait.
That right there is a normal human act, and the amount of touching up with brushes is likely less than a typical Playboy spread. For whatever reason, a human penis sliding its way into a human vagina generates more apparent “controversy” than a metal bullet entering a human skull. I continue to wrap quotation marks around “controversy” because anyone writing a story about Seduce Me continues to make reference to it.
Where exactly is the controversy?
I plugged “Seduce Me” into every search engine worth its name in stock shares and kept getting the same results: the official website, stories about the game getting banned from Steam, and stories about the fucking stories. If it were 18 months ago and South Park didn’t exist, I would make an Inception reference. In order for something to be deemed “controversial,” one would assume it had generated controversy, a massive public outburst regarding its existence. There are shitty zombie avatar games on the Xbox Live Arcade Indie section that have been seen, played and reviewed by more people than have played Seduce Me, and the world of journalism seems to be acting as if No Reply created a game where the goal is to spray diarrhea all over a flaming photo of Mohammed.
Furthermore, it seems that once again, the big boys cannot stay consistent. I don’t have a degree in journalism, but I have a doctorate in being a smartass, so trust me when I say I bring legitimacy to this critique. IGN put this story into their rotation on their home page. “Is Porn Right for Games?” is the tagline, one which would not look out of place on an 11 PM local newscast that also promises to let you know how Blu-Ray discs will give you cancer in ten months’ time. The article presents direct quotes from Miriam Bellard, co-founder of No Reply, who believes the game is “part of the natural growing-up of the medium, and of people’s view of video games.”
I won’t question Bellard’s legitimacy as a gamer, but she comes from Amsterdam, where transsexuals will brand you with hot irons if you pay them enough money. Her idea for us to grow the fuck up already is both noble and novel, but we live in a culture that has not viewed games as “kiddie stuff” for quite some time. The problem is what we view as “adult,” and IGN perfectly illustrates this concept by pushing an article such as this one at the top of their main screen while giving strict guidelines on what contributors can and cannot publish on the IGN Wiki for the game.
The upload warning reads “For this wiki, uncensored images depicting coitus, nipple or genitalia will be removed. IGN has a zero-tolerance policy on pornographic material (this guide focuses on the game’s dialogue and choices).” Interestingly, none of those descriptions involve gaping anal cavities, but were I an IGN contributor (thank fucking Christ I’m not one), I would be tempted to test the technicalities of that rule. Regardless, I clicked on the “women” tab on this Wiki and the explicit descriptions for each character should tell you everything you need to know about IGN’s so-called policies. The same Wiki which refuses visual descriptions has no problem with the written phrases “gang bang,” “cock hungry,” “eating out,” “relaxed oral,” “sex toy,” and my favorite, “mouth fucking.”
You want to know why I write for an independent site and not a big name like IGN, aside from the fact that the gaming press does not have the balls to hire anyone with a shred of honesty and passion? It’s because of bullshit double standards like that which I have just described. Wikis are user-edited, but if their corporate mindset is so obsessed with garnering content about one little sex-related game, they should have someone monitoring Seduce Me content with the same electric eye affixed to their “regular” articles. I took Destructoid to task over the summer about their firing of Ryan Perez, and I will continue to do the same whenever one of the biggest names in “journalism” (those are ironic quotes, not emphatic ones) steps in shit.
Speaking of stepping in shit, props to Kotaku for owning up to not doing their homework regarding the supposed Firefly MMO. The guys in suits could learn a thing or two from them.
Pietra and Erin, Pietra: Seduce Me Official Website