Sex, games, and sex games: untangling porn, eroticism, and videogames

Lust From Beyond!

I tried to figure out what existing thread I could use for this, but I just couldn’t pick one.

NSFW, by the way.

https://youtu.be/J5ReokQW1Cs

These devs are so weird. They were banging away for the longest time on something called Agony, which they marketed as a sexual horror adventure or something, and which was also pretty terrible. Just no sense for gameplay or pacing, and the only thing sexual I ever saw was a topless monster thing. I think they even made a “Lust Edition”.

So then they transitioned to what I assume is just a shooter with the same angle (i.e. “There Will Be Tits”) called Succubus. They released a demo today, but I can’t be arsed to try it. And now this thing, whatever it is?

Really, it gets at how anodyne horror videogames are. Where’s the really weird pscyho-sexual horror, along the lines of Clive Barker or something? Does it even exist? I doubt it, since it seems these devs are doing fine by pretending to fill the niche. Lust from Beyond? Good lord…

EDIT: Ha, okay, I’m dumb. It’s not the same developers! The Agony/Succubus folks are different from the Lust from Beyond folks. So there’s my answer. These are the “really weird psycho-sexual horror videogames”, competing with each other, and basically being marketed on the fact that there are going to be nekkid breasts.

-Tom

And here I thought you didn’t like puns.

I am not familiar with these games or the developers, so I guess I can’t really speak to the topic at hand. But this did get my mind wandering about whether I’ve seen a legitimately sexy game, or even a section of a game that approached sexiness. I can’t think of any, though I’m probably not the best judge because I can’t really say I’ve gone out of my way to look, either. Certainly I’ve seen sex in games, nude people doing something approximating sex, I suppose. I remember playing a game called Noctropolis back in the 90s, at a certain point the main character’s buxom female partner just strips out of her top. Sure, ok, why not? It was FMV and I guess cheesecake is a legit use of the medium. But I couldn’t call it sexy, not really.

Is it just a thing that video games aren’t suited to, maybe can’t do well at all? Are polygons and pixels inherently unsexy? I would hate to draw such a limitation, I’m just wondering if I’ve missed something. Not T&A, god knows you can get that anywhere on the net. Just something that maybe stirs up the blood a bit. Is there anybody out there?

The closest thing I can think of to doing psychosexual horror in games was Phantasmagoria 2: A Puzzle of Flesh. It’s not really that close, but it’s weird, horrory, and explores the protagonist’s sexuality. Honestly, it’s a much more interesting game than it gets given credit for (even if it gets silly by the end) and does a lot more to recommend it than the original Phantasmagoria, but somehow that’s the one that gets remembered fondly. I don’t get it.

(There are of course a couple of Clive Barker games, but that’s not really the end of his work they lean into, and one of them’s terrible anyway.)

Well, okay, there’s also arguably Song of Saya, if you consider visual novels games. But I really hesitate to recommend that one to anyone. It’s all kinds of fucked up.

I remember that. Definitely not sexy… her face shifts to a monster thing moments after.

Generally videogames just do the “this chick is super hawt” thing. Quiet, in Metal Gear Solid V, for example. Who I think was an effective character for what Kojima was doing. But cheesecake is easy. Erotic is more complicated. And the intersection of sexuality and horror is more complicated still. I mean, movies don’t even do it anymore! The real problem is that videogame horror is so often a bunch of jump scares stitched together for YouTubers to react to. It’s been a long time since Silent Hill and those freaky nurses, which I think are a good example of sexuality and horror.

But I do recall thinking there was a pretty good sex scene in a Witcher game:

-Tom

That’s interesting, I like the post and I really wish 1Up still existed so I could read your review - I still think The Witcher 2 is my favorite of the three games. I don’t remember too much about the sexuality in the game, but I do remember it didn’t shy away from such things. Maybe I should play it again!

Regarding malkav’s post, I played the first Phantasmagoria but not the second - didn’t have too high an opinion of the first game so I probably just disregarded the sequel out of hand. Looks like it is available on GOG, maybe I should give it a spin.

I’m not necessarily opposed to a fucked up horror/sex mixup, since I’ve read a lot of Barker’s stuff as Tom mentioned, and he does explore that territory. But looking up Song of Saya on Steam I’m … not sure that’s my thing. I guess I’m not necessarily looking for transgressive, though I guess that would have to be part of a horror and sex combo right? I guess if I can’t even explain what I was hoping to see, I don’t have much hope of finding it.

I should be clear I only watched someone else play it. It looks like there is a substantial amount of weird adventure game nonsense to the actual gameplay, so it might not actually be fun. But I wouldn’t let the first game turn you off specifically, because it’s pretty different.

Well, it’s a Sierra game, I figure that’s baked into the equation.

It’s a really tough ask in a horror movie. Maybe Splice was the last horror movie I saw that attempted it.

Games? Forget about it. Sexuality, sex, and making any of that erotic is hard enough in a regular game. In a horror game it seems impossible.

Maybe this is just a psychological reaction to coronavirus – beautiful random strangers coming up to smooch you might be carriers of something that will make your own white blood cells heedlessly charge into your lungs. There’s a whole eldritch world of the unseen flowing around us and pumping through our pulsating primary and secondary sexual characteristics; this world beyond our ken is really tiny though so it’s easy to overlook. Eldritchrotica. So don’t smooch these beautiful people that want to smooch you! Sublimate those lustful desires! Or at least wear a mask.

Either that or these horrors from beyond history and science realize our worst fear – they laugh at us when we’re naked.

I want more sex in video games so I am fine with this. I agree with everyone else though its a stupid combination. Just drop the horror bit and focus on making a good sex game.

This game reminds me of an ancient game called Dark Seed that I played, “inspired by” the art of H.R. Giger. https://www.mobygames.com/game/dark-seed

It wasn’t overtly sexual but did have some biomechanical art that leaned that way.

I think that there is some indie IF that leans in this direction, especially Porpentine’s work: With Those We Love Alive and Ultra-Business Tycoon III come to mind. But their body-horror is specifically in service to engendering empathy in the player/reader, which undermines it as horror.

Wouldn’t Atlus’ Catherine come close to psycho-sexual horror in video games? I haven’t played it, but it’s generally well regarded. If so, you could count that as a successful example. There’s also the ridiculously difficult The Void from Ice-Pick Lodge which, while maybe not a horror game, is certainly eerie in places and is explicitly erotic—though, given the context, I wouldn’t call it sexy. Plus, it being Ice-Pick Lodge, it has a lot of cool concepts it plays around with. For example, it’s the only game I can think of where the tutorial section straight up lies to you about how core game mechanics work.

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You mean

With the janky animations, shiny ass textures (literally), blocky character models, lame ass weak attacks, this looks like a bad Skyrim mod for tentacle hentai.

The reason we don’t get more games like this is because if gives off major incel vibes.

I enjoy erotic games and really appreciate that they’re now available on Steam.

Or rather, I think I’d enjoy erotic games and search them out, but I’ve yet to find one that’s any good. The video Telefrog posted in the OP was for Lust from Beyond. It’s the sequel to Lust for Darkness. They’re both just walking simulators with tits. Tits and dicks. LOTS of dicks. Probably more more dicks than tits.

And hardly any (if any?) vags. I don’t remember any. There were more vaginas in Far Cry Primal than in Lust for Darkness.

So. That’s kind of disappointing.

For a walking simulator, the walking in the game is weird and disjointed and doesn’t quite feel right. Exploring the mansion is kind of interesting. But when you go through the portals to the “horror” realm, it’s just pure shit. There are no tits to be found here, just death and mazes.

You can play the prologue to the sequel, Lust from Beyond, which I did. The walking felt a little better, and the graphics were better with more objects in the environment to interact with. And generally no, not those types of objects. There are various BDSM apparatuses scattered about the mansion, but they’re almost never being used.

The story seemed more interesting as well. But it still had that dumb and annoying horror world.

I picked up Lust for Darkness for $3, which feels about right. I’ll pick up the sequel when it’s also cheap enough.