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Nerds Without Pants   

Nerds Without Pants Episode 2: Strange Love

More like Fifty Shades of GAME, amiright?

Sex. Now that I have your attention, why is it something that gaming podcasts don’t talk about very often? Sex sells, and game developers have used it more and more in their games over the years. Your favorite nerdy trio takes off their pants, turns on their mics, and talk at length about sex in vidya games. But before that we talk some recent games, including Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy, Slender, and Unchained Blades.

We kick things off with a little of our sexual histories, and pontificate for a bit on just who would make it onto our Freebie Five lists. Things then turn to how sex impacts our games and the industry. Did Hot Coffee destroy the potential for sex in games? Did BioWare lose their nerve after the Fox News Mass Effect debacle? Can gamers even handle sexuality in video games in a mature manner, or can we just not have nice things? We explore games that handle sexuality in interesting or subtle ways, as well as highlight some of the inherent problems with trying to tackle these issues.

Throughout the show we take some of our listener’s Kinsey Report questions, and Rob continues his desperate advances towards Patrick. Enjoy all of this and more in this (surprisingly) mature look at getting it on in the virtual space. And don’t worry ladies: unlike Christian Grey we can give you more than a paragraph’s worth of pleasure.

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Featured Music:

Marcy Playground-Sex and Candy

P!nk featuring Peaches-Oh My God

Paula Cole-Feelin’ Love

Friendly Fires-Strange Love (Depeche Mode cover)


 

Comments

Anonymous

07/27/2012 at 01:54 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

Lol. Nice pic. =^_^=

Michael117

07/27/2012 at 06:06 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

I thought this episode definitely brought the laughs, but it was also very honest, and very mature on the subject. It's a relief to be able to hear people talk openly about sex. Americans are obsessed with sex, but it's so taboo to talk about that it's absurd. The only time people talk about it is when they're making dick & fart jokes, or telling their kids that it's evil to do it before marriage. It's not often you can get open and honest conversations about sex like this, not just in groups of gamers, but in society in general. I mean seriously, when ladies get caught simply breastfeeding in public they get put on a fucking stake and burned as a witch in America. People get so conservative they forget their humanity some times, and they end up not being able to approach these situations with any maturity or rationality. I'm proud of where you guys took this episode and how you dealt with it. At times it was a gut-buster, other times it was very personal and honest, other times it was gaming-centric. It was done well. I'll try to bring that honesty in my comment for you.

So keeping all of that in mind and realizing how many liberal tendencies I have, when it comes to sex in my games, I don't really need to have it there. Probably seems like a weird contrast but I'll explain why I feel that way. The problem is, I've never played a game where the sex really meant something to me, or spoke to me. I've played games where the relationships meant something to me, but when it comes to sex, no. Sex itself is a purely sensory experience that honestly doesn't translate into video games for me. Let's make an example of Mass Effect.

In the ME series I've always been in love with Liara, and I can even remember the second I bonded with her. It was during an early conversation while she was in her office and my FemShepard was joking around with Liara, and Liara didn't get the joke. She was afraid she did something wrong, she was unfamiliar with human behavior like humor, and it was so endearing to me. I love talking with Liara, I love studying her, letting her studying Shepard, I love having her by my side in combat, but when it came time to fuck her in the game I felt so disconnected that I wish it never happened. It just feels kind of cheap, unreal, and too unnatural. I don't think I'm being puritanical or prude, it just doesn't feel right, or necessary.

I'm not saying we shouldn't have sex in gaming, I'm just saying I personally haven't been satisfied by current explorations of it in gaming. If I was going to create a romance in a narrative for one of my video games, I honestly wouldn't ever implement a sex scene like Mass Effect did. My game wouldn't try to recreate the feeling or look of sex, my game would be more like Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. I would take it in small steps and the interaction would be more based around body language, vocal performance, animation, and subtle behavior. There wouldn't be any simulated sex. The philosophy I have is that, the small things in life make the biggest difference to me, so make sure you're doing the small things right in a video game story. Do the small things right in animation, level design, everything.

I would rather see two likeable characters simply hold hands in an endearing, sweet, and believable way. Or nestle up to each other like normal couples do when they're at home on a couch. Or see a couple in a diner, and the man is admiring his girlfriend's beauty as she runs her hand through her hair and talks about her day at work. Capturing those moments is what is important to me. I don't ever need to simulate penetration, or the purely sensory experience of sex. Sex doesn't translate for me in games so I don't need it. But relationships, body language, and communication do translate for me and I want more of that in gaming. If I were to create a game based on a romance I'm not sure if people would even call it a game. It would probably be like AR, it would be fairly short too. No turn based battles, block climbing, or quests. I wouldn't want any achievements or trophies either. No distractions, just narrative and interaction with it. Do you guys remember that side scrolling flash game that came out a while back where you were a guard escorting a prisoner and you had the option to shoot him or just keep escorting him further and further away from the prison camp? It was called like The Prisoner or something and it was a game this journalist made because of the things he had experienced or seen traveling the world. That experience didn't need to be gamey, it was purely emotional for me. We need to translate that to other topics and games, and get it out of the obscure flash game setting and into contemporary non-flash game design.

Before I go I wanted to do my own freebie 5 and freebie 5 gay lists like you did because I thought that part of the show was really fun and I took a lot of thought into putting mine together lol. These freebie 5 ladies aren't in any particular order.

1. Kari Byron - I'm a big Mythbusters fan and I've day dreamed about doing horrible things to Kari since the first day I saw her on the show lol. I'm really into petite ladies and Kari is a hot little red-head.

2. Melissa George - She's probably the most exotic person on the list because she's like a blonde bombshell with an accent, kinda tall, does modeling, acting, the whole bit. I fell in love with her when she played Stella in 30 Days of Night. I love her hair, her facial structure, her accent, and body language.

3. Radha Mitchell - I fell in love with her when she played Rose in Silent Hill. I really like that movie, and I liked her character a lot. She's a petite woman and very beautiful. I loved her in the movie The Crazies too when she played the wife of Timothy Olyphant. There was a scene in that film where she kind of looses hope and tells Olyphant (forget his character's name) that he needs to stop coming up with escape plans because they'll never get out of the hell they're in. Olyphant sits down with her, holds her hands, and he calmly and sincerely tells her, "Do you want to die now, right here? If you do, just tell me, because I'll die right here with you." I thought that was a very dark scene but it was also a very honest and beautiful exchange between the two of them.

4. Ellen Page - I like the petite girls and they don't come any more petite than Ellen Page. She super cute, but I'm more attracted to her personality and wit than anything else. She would be fun to be around, and if I got to have sex with her I'd love it, but I would be afraid to break her.

5. Kristen Stewart - This is probably the one I'll take the most shit for and it's because of the Twilight fame she has now. The crazy thing is, I've had an old-fashioned middle school style crush on Kristen Stewart for a long time and it has nothing to do with Twilight. In fact I've had a crush on her since I first saw her in the movie Cold Creek Manor in 2003, and whenever I see her in new movies I'm still really attracted to her. Kristen Stewart and I are close to the same age, I'm 23 now and she's 22, so we have been growing up at the same time except she's just in the movies I watch. I'm a socially awkward person like her, and I love the nervous ticks she has and how she plays with her hair and fidgets a lot. I'm not very attracted to girls who are ultra confident, sassy, divas. So that awkwardness that Kristen Stewart has is right up my alley. My favorite movies she has done so far have been Adventureland with Jesse Eisenberg, and The Runaways where she played Joan Jett. I have a crush on Joan Jett too, so when I saw Kristen Stewart playing as Joan Jett I fucking shit myself. That movie rocks so hard. Joan Jett is a sassy person on stage but she's pretty down to earth and weird when she's off stage.

Freebie 5 gay version eh? I'm somewhere with Rob on this one, just not about the anal railing part lol. I'm not too picky with girls, I just need em petite, intelligent, and weird. But when it comes to dudes I'd be a lot pickier. I would totally be a bi-curious diva if it came down to it. I'd have all kinds of stipulations like the dude would have to be clean shaven for me to kiss him, and if I gave him a handy-jackson he would have to be clean out of the shower and have a hairless dick. Shit, if I had a boyfriend it would probably be the worst relationship ever for him. I'd make him shave everywhere like a girl and I'd be the pickiest prude d-bag ever and at the end of the day all I'd do is make out and give handies. Dudes are cool, but being with ladies is much easier for me. I can't think of a good list of guys for the 5 but I have at least a couple.

1. Justin Timberlake - I don't listen to his music but I like his acting. I really loved him in The Social Network as the guy who created Napster. He was pretty hot and most of all he had enough fucking charisma to choke a crocodile.

2. Jesse Eisenberg - He's a real awkward guy in the way that Kristen Stewart is an awkward girl. Jesse Eisenberg gets a handy for sure.

3. Tom Cruise - He was already mentioned but I have to list him too. He's so fucking weird and it's so creepy he's a scientologist, but I've loved the guy ever since I saw him in the first Mission Impossible movie. Would you let Tom Cruise take you out on that brainwashing scientology boat cruise that they were talking about in the news? He could take me out on that fucking brainwashing boat anytime, as long as there was plenty of booze. Booze, handies, and the open ocean. Boom

update: Shit I should've put Olivia Wilde on the list somewhere, but I'll keep it the way it is. Seeing Wilde in Tron Legacy was outrageous. Makes you want to bust a cyber nut all over The Grid.

Julian Titus Reviews Editor

07/30/2012 at 09:28 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

You bring up a great point, Michael. Maybe we don't need the actual act, but I go again to the point that it can't be done in a convincing way. Do you feel the same way about sex in movies or TV shows? Sometimes it can be cheaply done, but othertimes it feels integral to the story.

And I would do everything to Kari Byron...

Michael117

07/31/2012 at 01:23 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

You're right about that. Sometimes in film and TV I see sex scenes that make sense and feel integral to the story. I guess that same effect could be applied to games, I just haven't seen it happen yet. I shouldn't ever say that it won't happen. I think at some point somebody will meld some believeable animation with great characters and fit sex into the formula in a way that feels integral and great. I have faith in other designers and storytellers that we will see sex be put into games in a very mature and quality fashion. I know that I personally don't think I'll be able to do that, it's just my weakness as a person who isn't a good writer. I honestly don't think I'd ever be able to create characters, build them up till they have sex, and make the occasion seem special and integral. That's why I'd want to focus on the non-sex aspects of a relationship, bonding, and communication.

Anonymous

07/28/2012 at 12:30 AM Reply | Permalink | Report

I posted something here but it didn't take. I'm glad Michael had the guts to admiGigi's Gay 5, there's nothing wrong with a little bicuriosity! Kari Byron, NICEST lady. Stunning in person, too.

Anonymous

07/28/2012 at 12:32 AM Reply | Permalink | Report

This is Rob, btw. ^

Rob Ottone Staff Alumnus

07/28/2012 at 10:15 AM Reply | Permalink | Report

I don't know what "admiGigi's" means, lol. Fucking Apple autocorrect.

Jon Lewis Staff Writer

07/28/2012 at 05:03 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

I never laughed at an ep so much. Rob's gay fantasy almost got me into a car accident

Jon Lewis Staff Writer

07/28/2012 at 05:04 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

i should say, laughed with

Anonymous

07/30/2012 at 03:15 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

Rob is effing hilarious!!! I <3 him!!!

Anonymous

07/30/2012 at 08:41 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

No doubt that this was Rob. :p

Julian Titus Reviews Editor

07/30/2012 at 09:31 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

Actually, that wasn't Rob. I can vouch for that, lol.

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