For the past few weeks, I’ve been picking away at an editorial about my frustration with the sleaze that has come to define a growing percentage of the niche Japanese action and role-playing games I love. Yesterday, I woke up to an email that finally helped my crystallize my irritation, which then precipitated, blizzard-like, into a comprehensive rewrite and a published editorial.
I took great pains not to say anything critical about people who don’t mind a patina of smut on their import games, and even stressed that I wouldn’t even care about those games’ existence if the medium offered any other vision of sexuality whatsoever besides treating unhappy, blushing girls as jiggly fun-meat to poke and prod at. Naturally, I was immediately hit by tweets and comments damning me for being so closed-minded about games where you rub phallic objects between the breasts of teenage girls with the ultimate aim of making those breasts grow to enormous sizes. I would have thought the current news climate would give most people pause about advocating games involving child molestation, but clearly I was mistaken.
My favorite angry comment? Definitely the person who tried to shame me with C.S. Lewis quotes. Because if there’s one thing the 20th century’s foremost Christian philosopher could not abide, it was people saying harsh things about anime titty games.
Anyway, that grim fallout is kind of depressing if you think about it too hard (or at all), so instead let’s enjoy some Mario Maker videos. I’m about to build a castle level. I hope it doesn’t suck!
16 thoughts on “Words breast left unspoken”
It’s not even just RPGs that get that sort of treatment. I remember thinking for a long time whether I wanted to get Deathsmiles since I heard it was a great shooter, but I really wasn’t comfortable with the asetetic. Didn’t help they had a special edition that came with a a pair of panties.
And the less said about Otomadius, the better.
Is there a companion article to lament the excess violence that pervades video games and which also impedes their maturation as a medium? (Unlike these niche games–in both countries–violent games reach quite a broad audience.) If not, I’m not sure if this is the groundswell of social depravity you’re looking for. It’s low-class, but it’s obscure, and this kind of thing has always existed on the margins. Until these games start selling in any major numbers, why are they more worthy of attention than say…a far more deviant game like Hatred?
Ah, the ol’ “b-b-b-but violence!” chestnut. Like I said in the article, that is a whole other article. Feel free to write it.
You’re brave Parish or you just like hate mail?
Remember folks don’t read the comments!
PS – totally agree. It’s gross.
USG’s comments section is usually pretty good, in my observation. Skimming through the comments on that article, it seems like it’s a pretty good discussion, except for one guy.
Oh yeah, the USG’s community’s comments are pretty great. The problem was the instant Twitter whining, and conversations elsewhere.
I had literally the same reaction as you to Dungeon Traveller 2.
I thought it was a really even handed piece. In fact, when I opened it I thought itw as going to be a (deserved) take down of the whole type of game which is lame, gross, and makes me embarassed to have video games as a pass-time.
I think you just have to accept the internet is full of weirdos and/or trolls who just love to get into an argument and shake it off.
Just to ecco the comments here, I’ve had the same issue as I look to get the occasional obscure game. I think “what would my wife /daughter think of this?” all to often, I just play old games again.
Now I’m just curious what C.S. Lewis quotes the person used…
I think it was a very thoughtful piece, and a sort of amazing shibboleth — it’s very clear that people coming at the article from a certain perspective are not actually reading it, and just reacting to some decontextualized quotes about “growing up.” We’ve officially reached the point where those who shout the loudest about free speech and outrage culture are the quickest to become outraged and demand censorship. Thanks as ever for your writing.
Just curious who that “one guy” is. I hope it isn’t me. ^_^’ But great topic of discussion regardless. I have slowly fallen out of love with japanese gaming culture because of the moe phenomenon. I won’t say that it shouldn’t exist for those who like it, but it certainly didn’t do anything for me. I really preferred when titillation in Japanese games was Valis 1, not Valis X.
Yeah, I was reading people getting het up about this all morning and I was puzzled because it’s really good about not shaming or judging. It doesn’t mention areas of Japanese game design which do have more diverse portrayals of sexuality (visual novels, otome games, etc.), it might have helped to mention those things (though I think those are pretty far outside your area of expertise), but there really is a rut that a good, much more visible chunk of lower-budget Japanese games are stuck in which are doing the worst disservice to the concept of the pervy game possible – they’re making perviness BORING.
So, good article. I think sophomoric, goofy sex games should exist, but it would be nice if they’d tone it down a bit, maybe release a few less games about poking jello-like breasts a year and put something else out instead. You know, leave something to the imagination.
That said, I do think that maybe the line “That, I suspect, has everything to do with the fact that the idea of actual adults playing video games in their free time has found far more traction in the West than in Japan, where games remain very much a pastime for children and, to a lesser degree, women.” needs some editing, because it doesn’t read very well…
As a Christian, and someone that has read a quite a few of C.S. Lewis’ works, I’m embarrassed that someone would even try to use his quotes in this case. Wow. I’m curious as to what quote they tried to use, just so I could see how hilariously out of context it was.
If it’s the same quote that someone later used in the comments of the article, it’s the “when I was a child” one.
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