The Strange Case of the Misappearance of Sex in Videogames

Krzywinska, Tanya (2012) The Strange Case of the Misappearance of Sex in Videogames. In: Computer Games and New Media Cultures: A Handbook of Digital Games Studies. Springer, Heidelberg, Germany. ISBN 978-94-007-2777-9

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Abstract / Summary

This chapter analyses the ‘gamification’ of sex. There are many analyses of gender in videogames, but very little critical analysis focused on sex. It’s common for popular news media to relish stories about sex in video games, often in order to generate salacious capital; game publishers also use the lure of sexual transgression to attract sales. Yet despite the sensationalist copy, there has in fact been very little explicit sex in videogames and conditions apply where it does appear. The chapter sets out those conditions and the representational conventions used. It moves on to analyse why it is that explicit sex has been largely absent from the video game arena, arguing that rather like Hollywood under the Production Code, sex becomes re-routed into non-explicit articulations. There have been a few polemical pieces on sex in games, but this the first published work that uses critical and cultural theory to analyse sex in videogames. The chapter is informed by the author’s research into cinematic representations of sex, Sex in the Cinema (2006) for example, as well as her research into videogame form. As elsewhere, comparative ‘transmedial’ method is specially devised and employed to highlight the formal specificities of videogames. This paper was first given as a keynote at the ‘Computer Games / Players / Game Cultures’ international conference held at Magdeburg University, Germany in March 2009. It was then chosen for publication in an edited collection published in English edited by the convenor of the conference. Versions of the paper were delivered at: Brunel University’s Public Lectures series; as a keynote paper at Falmouth University College Digital Arts conference; and, in a more generalist context, at The Sexual Cultures conference. It has been cited in journals Game and Culture and Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds.

Item Type: Book Chapter
ISBN: 978-94-007-2777-9
Subjects: Technology > Digital Works > Digital Games
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Tanya Krzywinska
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2013 14:20
Last Modified: 13 Nov 2014 10:14
URI: http://repository.falmouth.ac.uk/id/eprint/302

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