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Video game erotica

Contrary to popular opinion, pornography is whatever turns you on. Because we live in the future, that includes virtual reality and video games.


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There's few feelings that match whiling away countless hours beating up bad guys or racing cars in video games. As is the case with pretty much everything human however, the long, slimy, all-pervading tendril of the erotic found its way to these as well. Sometimes, it's a beautiful, necessary and titillating experience, while other times it's just crass. Either way, there's a bunch of video games around with a whole lot of adult content in it, and that's just how it is.

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Video games can drop a player into an infinite variety of worlds and situations, from an explosive sci-fi space opera to the life of a truck driver. Love is trying to shift the conversation with her newest game, Ladykiller in a Bindwhich aims to treat sex with the seriousness she says it deserves.

The game launched in October on PC to largely favourable reviews, which lauded its sharp writing and unflinching, often tender discussions of BDSM, sexual diversity and consent.

The ethical questions around adult games

Love describes it as "an erotic visual novel that's about crossdressing, social manipulation and lots of kinky lesbian sex. The quality of the game is such that it's now being distributed on Steam, a digital store that usually shies away from sexually explicit content.

One infamous example of the former is the God of War series, which established a tradition in which its musclebound anti-hero, Kratos, ravishes two or more women at least once per game.

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With heaving bosoms and salacious moans, these scenes are little more than a pornographic diversion. Even when sex and romance are written with a little more gravitas, such as in Mass Effect or The Witcherthe scenes are usually kept short and resemble a second tryst in a Hollywood action film.

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This is where Ladykiller in a Bind is different. Here, sex is at the centre of every love story, rather than the reward at the end of a romantic quest. You play as the Beast, a boyish lesbian teen who switches places with her narcissistic twin brother, the Prince, for a week. She asks him to write her exams lest she flunk out of high school.

The 10 hottest adult porn games

As payment, she has to dress up as him and attend a graduation cruise with his sexually charged, high-society classmates. The Prince thinks it's win-win for him because he doesn't want to spend a week with his self-absorbed peers, and the Beast has no qualms about chasing romance, even if her would-be partners think they're dealing with her brother. The ensuing adventure is full of high school politics, flirting and blackmail.

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It's like Degrassibut with more jerks and more sex. Love's exhaustive script gives voice to believable characters of multiple genders and sexual orientations. It's about romances that start up through a series of hook-ups and turn into relationships from there.

Social sharing

And I feel like that's often how relationships actually work," says Love. They're a little bit awkward. They're funny. They require communication. The visual novel — which is kind of like a digital choose-your-own-adventure, with more emphasis on writing than action — is familiar turf for Love. With its unabashed take on sex, however, came the risk that it would be relegated to the online equivalent of the back room of movie rental shops.

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As an independent developer, Love doesn't have the marketing power of a big-name publisher such as Electronic Arts or Activision. She initially sold Ladykiller on her personal website and through small outlets such as the Humble Store. For a title to succeed, an indie developer really needs to get their game on Steam, which Love estimates can for up to 90 per cent of their sales. There's one major problem, though: While Steam sells games with racy content, actual nudity rarely gets through.

Visual novel appears on nudity-averse steam, world’s top pc digital market

Creators of erotic games often slip under the adults-only banner by editing out the most sexually charged content — by introducing a nipple-obscuring cloud of steam, for example, or by removing a sex scene entirely. Ladykiller is all about sex, however, so Love remained adamant that she wouldn't tone down the content just to get it on the storefront.

In October, she tweeted she didn't expect Ladykiller to ever be approved for Steam.

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It came as a surprise to her fans, then, when she announced in January that it would appear on Steam — completely uncensored. Valve, the company that runs Steam, rarely speaks with the media, so it's unclear what precisely changed their mind. Love says that when she finally got "an actual human being" on the phone and explained the concept, "they were really understanding.

That said, Love recently removed and rewrote one gritty BDSM scene after some players online expressed concern, saying it crossed the line of consent. Players could choose skip it if they wanted, but "even after multiple revisions, clearly a lot of players were extremely uncomfortable with its presence," Love wrote on her blog.

The erotic potential of porn video games

The breadth of sexual content in games has widened in tone and scope in recent years — and unsurprisingly, it's mostly come from the independent scene. Nina Freeman channeled her personal sexual experiences to create Cibelewhile One Night Stand centres on the awkward experience of waking up next to a stranger. But definitely not straight-faced.

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Or straight in any way, really. Entertainment Toronto developer pushes boundaries of video game erotica with Ladykiller in a Bind Christine Love's new 'visual novel,' Ladykiller in a Bind, is both sexually explicit and a narrative treat and demonstrates the evolution of erotic video games, writes Jonathan Ore. Social Sharing. Pushing the boundaries of video game erotica with Ladykiller in a Bind News 4 years ago What the medium hasn't done very well, though, is explore sexuality.

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Jonathan Ore Senior Writer. Related Stories q.