Wednesday, 22 October 2008

condoms? in games?

Developer Lionhead Studios (and, one suspects, designer Peter Molyneux in particular) very much wants you to be aware of its sex-related feature set: the first item I encountered for sale by a merchant was a condom. Not long afterwards, my dog excitedly guided me to some buried treasure, and then panted and wagged his tail happily as I dug up another prophylactic.

from GameSetWatch

... I am somewhat boggled. Perhaps because it feels anachronistic for a fantasy RPG, even though it isn't *really*... Perhaps it's also that I remember the first time I encountered condoms in a computer game, and how completely I failed to understand what was being discussed.

Me, as a young girl, playing Leisure Suit Larry, told by snickering adults that I could buy a "rubber" at the drug store, had NO IDEA what either "rubber" or "prophylactic" meant. (I probably would have understood the term "condom" but I'm not sure, I can't remember my nine-year-old brain well enough.) I was deeply puzzled by this mysterious object. Ribbed rubber sounded like a tire or something, but then, why would it be mint-flavored?

So I guess what I'm getting at here is - does the game explain what these items you find are for? Or are there, out there, many more children playing their latest new game and being hopelessly, if amusingly, confused?

(Yes, it's M-rated, someone will say kids shouldn't be playing it. Well, they will anyway. And some kids are perfectly capable of handling a bit of innuendo without being shocked or scarred. However, being young and inexperienced makes it very easy to fail to grasp certain aspects of what's going on, is my point.)

No comments: