Dragon Age II Is Mature

By John Walker on February 7th, 2011 at 12:34 pm.

You beautiful creature.

And for once, that appears to be an accurate use of the word. “Mature” in a game rating tends to mean anything but. But once again BioWare are offering sexual freedom as one of the many ways you’re free to define your experience of Dragon Age II. It means if you want to roleplay a gay character, you can.

This was an option they chose to drop from Mass Effect 2. A strange choice, given the original game allowed polyamorous characters, meaning that one couldn’t pursue previous relationships. (Although my female Shepard did smooch Liara T’Soni when first seeing her, and then refused to chat to her for the rest of the game.)

When you consider how few games feature gay characters, let alone those that allow you to play as a gay character, BioWare is something of a (rainbow-coloured) flag carrier for the matter. So it’s good news to hear that DA2 will continue to allow you to choose your character’s sexuality. I played the original Dragon Age as a gay man, partly because I’d never had the opportunity to do so in a game before. And mostly because I was desperately pursuing a relationship with Alistair, whom I fancied. We confessed our love for each other, told each other of our virginal ways, but his heterosexuality meant it remained maddeningly platonic. Somehow I ended up with Zevran, almost by mistake. I was using him – my heart was always with Alistair.

Dragon Age 2 will feature scenes suggestive of sexual activity, including oral sex, according to the ESRB.

“During the course of the game, characters sometimes engage in sexual dialogue (e.g., “Why is it always about sex with you?” and “Sailing is like sex. Do it wrong, and it’ll make you sick.”). Players can also initiate brief cutscene sequences in which couples (male-female or same-sex) are shown kissing and embracing one another in a bedroom as the screen fades to black. In one cutscene, a woman kneels in front of a male character and appears to perform fellatio—there is no depiction of the sex act; the camera pans out to the rest of the room.”

I love that they’ve plucked out a joke from the game. And it instils confidence in me that the writing is on form.

They also bring us the news that we’ll hear the words “ass”, “bastard” and “shit”. Having spent the weekend playing Dead Space 2, that sounds delightfully tame.

The game is out in only a month and four days. Cripes.

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188 Comments »

  1. Xercies says:

    “Sailing is like sex. Do it wrong, and it’ll make you sick.”

    Um…

    • Mike says:

      He didn’t say the writing was sane.

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      That sentence makes a lot more sense if you rearrange it as “Sex is like sailing”

    • EthZee says:

      I read this as: “Sailing… is very much like making love to a beautiful woman…”

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      “Choose your boat carefully, raise your sail and don’t forget to make sure the hull is wet before you try setting sail”

      (sorry that was ghastly)

    • Shazbut says:

      @Tom – Right. Which is making me think that this a case of some character teaching you how to sail or something and flirting outrageously with you by likening it to sex in a weird and barely relevant manner, in order to make (a) the game ‘mature’ and (b) it very clear that she likes you and you can pursue romance with this person . Not that I’ve played the first game or anything, but I can imagine this scenario quite clearly.

    • Urthman says:

      And it instils confidence in me that the writing is on form.

      I’ve put off trying later Bioware games like Mass Effect and Dragon Age because the writing in Jade Empire was so painfully bad. If this is your example of Bioware “on form,” then I can keep them at the bottom of my list.

      Thanks for saving me from some severe pain, John.

    • .backslash says:

      @Shazbut: Actually, the successor to Morrigan as trademark BioWare megabitch is to be a pirate lady, so I expect you to be quite right. Hats off to your perceptive powers, sir.

    • Josh Brandt says:

      “Sailing is like sex– you need to know how to tie a lot of complicated knots.”

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      “Sailing is lot like sex, take your eye off the boom and you’re liable to get knocked out”

    • Premium User Badge

      AndrewC says:

      Point your stern windward, keep your sheet stiff, and if all else fails you can always anchor off.

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      @andrewC *applauds

      Sex is a lot like sailing, sometimes you can spent ages adrift, helpless, then suddenly… PIRATES

    • bhlaab says:

      The very next line had better be a crewman saying “Sir that makes no sense”

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      AndrewC says:

      Time for that seaman to walk the plank, says I.

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      Lambchops says:

      Sex is a lot like sailing on a fishing boat. You spend ages trawling and all you catch is crabs.

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      Sex is a lot like captaining a tanker, everything seems fine until you find you need a 3000 person clean up operation to deal with all the oil and dead birds

    • Tei says:

      Sailing is like sex, wen you are virgin, you draw HERE LIE DRAGONS in the unmapped parts..

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      Lambchops says:

      If sex is a lot like sailing i’m going to be disappointed, I’ve never been a big Rod Stewart fan.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      Sex is a lot like sailing. If you don’t round that cape the first time, you’re doomed to keep trying for eternity.

    • Premium User Badge

      Lambchops says:

      Comment thread now reads like we’re all trying to audition for writing jobs on the next Bioware game.

      At the very least I can see the beginnings of the Great RPS Dating Sim!

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      Carra says:

      “Sex is a lot like sailing. You can do it on a boat.”

    • Cooper says:

      Sex is a lot like sailing. Salty.

    • Vitruality says:

      Sailing is like sex… in that you can do a lot more of it if you happen to own a boat.

    • malacola says:

      Sailing is a lot like sex. You have to be prepared to get a bunch of seamen on your poopdeck.

      *rimshot*

    • Josh Brandt says:

      @malacola: I am embarassed to admit that I laughed.

    • Resin says:

      “Sailing is a lot like sex, any port in a storm.”

    • Easydog says:

      “Sailing is like sex. You’ll spend so much time alone and eating so badly you’ll probably get rickets.”

    • Soon says:

      Sailing is like sex. You panic at a leak and quickly bail out.

    • gwathdring says:

      Sailing is pretty damn fantastic … when a big gust pulls through, and you just manage to right the boat, hanging over the windward edge inches from the water with the bow leaping into the air, planing straight over trough and roller alike. Besides, sailing can not only be done with anywhere from one to 100s of people (best with two, I suppose), but the euphoric climax keeps going as long as the wind does, and as many times as there are gusts.

      I figured you guys had bad puns covered.

    • luckystriker says:

      Oh I’m sure there’s plenty more bad puns to be had. Here’s another one. “Sailing is a lot like sex. You have to change sheets often because of the spray.”

  2. Aemony says:

    Is that a screenshot from the game? Does the game actually look that bad?

    • Lewie Procter says:

      I think John added the speech bubble.

    • Kaira- says:

      I believe it is. Somehow the graphics seem to have taken a step back. DA:O didn’t really have spectacular graphics, but they were somewhat realistic looking and so, also pretty nice. But these… well, I’m all in favor of stylized graphics, but somehow these seem ugly. And the game is, what, a month from coming to stores? I have some bad feelings, but we’ll see what it looks like really.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      There’s somewhat of a mismatch between his hair, and the shadow it casts

    • DrGonzo says:

      It’s not that the graphics are bad. But he looks rather emo, I really can’t stand that emo/anime look, so I hope they don’t go for it.

    • steggieav says:

      It does seem like they are going for a semi-anime style with this game. I guess I prefer it to the original, where all the characters gave off an unpleasant mannequin vibe.

  3. Urael says:

    I’d wager yes given that the last one looked like it was textured by blind people from 1998.

    [reply to Aemony there. No fail, my own fault!]

    • Creeping Death says:

      Did you play it on console or pc? Because maxed out on pc, this game looked great

    • Xercies says:

      Um..no it didn’t I’m afraid it looked ok I guess but it was full of very flat textures and it looked like it came out about 5 years ago.

    • Urael says:

      Yeah, sorry, Creeping Death, but I played DA on a PC. One that handles Crysis on EYE-BLEED mode with three CPU cores tied behind it’s back. I maxed DA and got something that looked like Degas had painted it after his eyes had mostly died.

    • Warth0g says:

      Yes I’m afraid that graphics were never DA:O’s strong point.. I was kind of hoping they’d fix that with the sequel…

  4. DeepSleeper says:

    Interestingly, you’ll no longer be fighting “Darkspawn”, but instead “Assbastards”.

  5. Multidirectional says:

    So, all that maturity of DA2 is sex related? How fucking refreshing and totally not aimed at teenagers.

    • Mike says:

      Nah, there’s swearing and blood too. The three main food groups.

    • Starky says:

      To be fair handling sexual relationships in an adult and realistic manner is about as “mature” as any medium can get.

      So no it isn’t about sex, as in the act of fucking. But (and butt) sex as a natural part and extension of relationships – and that IS mature in the good meaning.

      It’s the difference between art nude and porn, romance and erotica.

    • RegisteredUser says:

      Really I just wand a D&D where mature means that you can cast magic missiles that burn through people’s midsections and have their guts spill out.
      Where you cast enlarge and then rip the other guys arms of and thwack him around the ears with them.
      Where you can cast charm on a female NPC and they literally and visibly “do your bidding’”.
      Etc, etc, etc.
      Now that would be an epic combo of RPG and real fantasy stuff(it’s funny, you would think I’m fifteen going by this, but that’s really just my mental / sex / violence age).

      Playing house and/or wife with $randomguyorgirl is not my idea of mature, really :P
      We already have the sims.

    • BooleanBob says:

      @Starky, Multidirectional: Apropos of nothing, Eurogamer chose to report this with the headline ‘Dragon Age 2 has blowjob scene’.

    • Urthman says:

      The word “mature” should be reserved for “games that adults would enjoy but anyone under 23 would find boring because they’re too young to get it.”

    • pipman3000 says:

      Where you can cast charm on a female NPC and they literally and visibly “do your bidding’”.

      man do i have the rpg for you!

      http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/14/14567.phtml

    • RegisteredUser says:

      I did mean in a virtualized/sim/computer environment.

  6. Deano2099 says:

    Well most RPGs let you roleplay as a gay man/woman. It’s just not many provide you with romantic options to pursue if you do. Which statistically, in your average RPG-sized party is probably accurate. Not that games shouldn’t strive to provide more though, I just find it a bit awkward when people insist on having these out of a sense of ‘equality’ when it doesn’t always fit the storyline. It’s constructive, it helps expose the idea of homosexuality to more people and normalise the idea. But if we get upset when it’s not there it almost seems a little backwards to me.

    Then again, would love to see an RPG that forced you to roleplay gay, or at least didn’t offer heterosexual romances (again, statistically in real life it’d be bound to happen at least once). Just to see how people would react.

    • Urthman says:

      Exactly. I always role-play the space marine in Doom as a gay man. And the pilot of the space ship in Asteroids is a lesbian when I play that game.

      Old school games were usually pretty good about letting your role-play whatever sexuality you wanted for the main characters.

  7. Teddy Leach says:

    Didn’t the first game do this too?

    • simonh says:

      Yep it did, the elf assassin was the gay romantic option.

    • Bureaucrat says:

      It did. There were options for both Zevran and Leilana to “entertain” the PC with some extraordinarily cringe-worthy cutscenes, regardless of PC race or gender.

    • Teddy Leach says:

      Looks like those cringe-worthy scenes’ll be carrying on here as well. I love how they try to be tactful, but just seem to end up failing.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      It a whole new meaning to “back-stabber”

  8. Lilliput King says:

    “Dragon Age 2 will feature scenes suggestive of sexual activity, including oral sex”

    there is no god

  9. Spinoza says:

    Is there cunninglus option included? If not , that serious gamebraking balance issue for me.

  10. Maxheadroom says:

    Id rather they left sex out of it altogether, particularly cut scenes which are either laughable or cringe worthy – usually both in equal measure. Games as a medium just aren’t at a point where they can be taken seriously.

    If you look at the user reviews for DA: Awakenings (which is sex free) it’s littered with adolescents marking it DOWN purely because you cant orchestrate a situation where you get to see Morrigan’s digital fun bags

    Just my 2 english pence

    • Lilliput King says:

      It might actually be better if there were jugs involved, rather than just a bizarre unsettling dry hump.

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      I was mostly horrified by the dull blank stares as Leliana and Aeden Cousland grinded their groins at each other.

    • RegisteredUser says:

      To be perfectly honest: either someone finally frickin’ pick up the sex gauntlet for real and start making actually visually interesting, physically well-rendered, extremely moddable/user-content addable sex-sims on the level of AA – AAA quality games(i.e. the opposite of what ‘Illusion’ and all those other asian houses of fail constantly churn out and which is on a level of around DirectX 5 visually an in 90% of the cases geared around loli appeal), or stop with all this “ohhh, let’s make this game so much more adult and mature by suggesting she’sa sucky sucky his peen” nonsense.

      Stick to more realistic or more over the top depictions violence and gore. At least that way you will still sell like hot cakes in america, too.

      Give me a game about f*cking or a game about content. But don’t try to fish in the boner-bin for extra buys due to tits when there really is neither reason nor point. Just like movies that do a 20 second tit-flash just for the hell of it instead of just making it clear what’s next before just fading out and going to the next day.

      Either show it all, explicitly and well done(and in a game: interactive ideally), or just DON’T FRICKIN’ BOTHER. It’s just distracting/annoying/pointless.

    • Fwiffo says:

      I hope the sex gauntlet is machine washable.

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      I love the sex gauntlet. It’s so bad.

    • RandomGameR says:

      Wizard needs sex, badly!

  11. The Great Wayne says:

    And here we are again. Sigh.

  12. Bureaucrat says:

    It’ll be more remarkable, IMO, when more gay characters appear in games for reasons wholly unrelated to their sexuality. Well-rounded characters who don’t start talking about sex and how they like to do it every other time you stop by for a chat. DA:O characters practically carried “Git Yer Non-Discriminate Lovin’ Here” signs.

    As such, Arcade Gannon in Fallout: New Vegas is probably the best gay character in gaming.

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      Zephro says:

      While this is true. With Dragon Age though all the characters are carrying a get it here sign regardless of sexuality so they’re kinda being equal handed.

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      Lars Westergren says:

      Jim Sterling from Destructoid wrote a suprisingly trolling-free article about how Arcade Gannon was a great gay character. I liked it.

    • Xercies says:

      But every gay guy I have met does talk about sex all the time and how they love doing it…at least there being realistic about it

      (By the way this is a joke and I am in no way homophobic)

    • RegisteredUser says:

      “..who don’t start talking about sex and how they like to do it every other time you stop by for a chat.”

      SO deja vue of over 9000 ex-girlfriends right there.

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      tomeoftom says:

      The Ballad of Gay Tony did alright, I thought.

    • JackShandy says:

      If you take invisibility as a marker of success, than Veronica Santiago beats Arcade Gammon – if she didn’t say “She” instead of “He” in one dialogue path, you’d never know she was gay. But by that kind of logic, glaDOS is the best gay character in gaming.

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      daphne says:

      That was one of the things The Longest Journey did best, and almost in an off-hand way, with the proprietor of the Border House. It made some people feel so fuzzy and warm inside they opened a blog with the same name…

    • Shadram says:

      So the best type of gay character is one who denies or hides their sexuality? You can have complex gay characters and still have them sexually active. I can’t speak for the entire gay community, I’m just one member, but my response to Sterling’s article appears to be along the same lines as these guys (but they word it better than I could):
      http://gaygamer.net/2010/11/what_flavor_of_gay_belongs_in.html
      http://www.afterelton.com/other/2010/11/arcade-gannon-gay-character-fallout-new-vegas

      Don’t get me wrong, I thought Arcade Gannon was great, but it wasn’t because he hid his sexuality. It’s the assertion that all gay characters should hide their sexuality that I find disturbing. “Characters can be gay, so long as they’re not actually gay.”

      The Longest Journey was slightly different, the Border House owner was gay, and it wasn’t stated outright, but she lived with a partner, so her sexuality was visible.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      “Well-rounded characters who don’t start talking about sex and how they like to do it every other time you stop by for a chat. ”

      You’ve clearly never hung out with RPS.

      (Though we’re not really “well-rounded characters” either)

      KG

  13. DarkFenix says:

    So awkward sex scenes and tame swearing makes a game mature? Well, I guess a sweaty-palmed teenager might agree. The rest of us? Less so I’d wager.

    In my opinion it’s yet more of the same old “look at me I’m so mature!” crap I wish games would hurry up and grow out of. It strikes me as distinctly Hollywood-esque bad design (not with the swearing, movies have at least figured out how to use swearing in a mature manner); the end of the world isn’t interesting or tragic enough, let’s turn it into a romance too!

    Or maybe I just want a darker fantasy world to play in because I’m a bitter little cynic with a hatred for all things nice. I’ll let you guys be the judge of that ;).

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      AndrewC says:

      Awkward and tame certainly describes my mature sex life. And I certainly feel Hollywood achieved the height of maturity regarding swearing when all the kids said ‘shit’ in The Goonies.

      But I guess I fall in to the ‘mature’ that gets defined as ‘old’, so I must leave true adulthood in your hands. I wish you well in your darkness, self-defined cynicism, and need to mock teenagers.

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      While I agree, I’m not sure there’s many gamers who’d be interested in games offering ‘mature situations’ like having to fill out tax returns, discussing birth control with their partner or making an uneasy truce with authority figures.

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      drewski says:

      Mass Effect 3: Shepherd gets a job with the Galactic Administration, which destroys his/her will to live. Shepherd lusts over nubile teen in the pod next door as part of a mid life crisis, before being murdered by teen’s father. Series ends.

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      Lambchops says:

      Mature moral dilema: Do I pull a sicky to watch the World Cup or be responsible and go in to work. Oh the excitement!

  14. Premium User Badge

    The Sombrero Kid says:

    I prefer my power fantasy’s to be platonic, like an 80′s action movie, rather than a 90′s action movie, I’m glad we have the choice to craft our own experience regardless of preference.

    • Panzeh says:

      Just FYI, 80s action movies were incredibly homoerotic.

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      The Sombrero Kid says:

      my favorite homoerotic scene in an 80′s action movie is a tie between the arnie carl weathers arm wrestle at the start of predator or arnie jumping out a 747 in his trunks followed by him checking his analogue watch which weirdly makes digital bleeps in commando.

  15. 7rigger says:

    It seems odd to me that Bulletstorm was bashed for being straight up silly and childish, while DA2 is bashed for attempting not to be.

    I understand it’s still not the level of maturity some people expect – but surely it’s good that someone is trying?

    • Premium User Badge

      stahlwerk says:

      Hum, if they include it it’s okay I guess, but pointing it out in PR and saying “look we’re so mature” kind of rubs me as, I don’t know, if not childish, then adolescent, maybe?

      Drawing a parallel to movies (dangerous, I know): You don’t see (non-pornographic) films advertising their sex scenes anymore, but maybe that’s because they just became such a staple of modern cinema that we would be suprised if George and Angelina didn’t have a few cozy minutes between action and suspense.

    • 7rigger says:

      I just think they’re trying to avoid another GTA:SA debacle in the US.

      “I bought my child a game about murder and drug dealing – and there was SEX IN IT!!”

    • RegisteredUser says:

      For >>> ATTEMPTING <<<

      There is your reply right there.

    • 7rigger says:

      @RegisteredUser

      Well, sex is tricky to get right (and in the game! Hey-ooo!) and I don’t think many developers would even want to try implementing it at all. Sure this may not be what you wanted, but at least it shows someone is – trying – to be a little bit more mature.

      It may not be what people expected, but it also might help Bioware and other developers learn how to handle sex in an interactive medium. (and again! Hey-ooo!)

    • Urthman says:

      Wait, we’re not allowed to bash both of them for being stupid?

    • 7rigger says:

      @Urthman

      “Wait, we’re not allowed to bash both of them for being stupid?”

      You certainly are. I just stated that I couldn’t understand it – especially when Bulletsorm is meant to be stupid.

    • Shazbut says:

      @7rigger – I agree

    • Urthman says:

      “I don’t understand how someone can bash me for being a jerk when I’m trying to be a jerk!”

    • 7rigger says:

      @Urthman

      Exactly! It’s totally redundant.

  16. My2CENTS says:

    A BJ from a Dragon?? Hell no, only Mass Effect should incorporate some sort of intercourse system, cause its fun to rule the galaxy and (avoiding_comment_deletion) allure into a hypothetical intercourse (avoided) all sort of random alien characters.

  17. Quine says:

    If no characters wake up on a bed next to an ornately-enshafted hammer I shall be disappoint.

    • RegisteredUser says:

      If I were a girl or gay, this would be where I throw in something about how I love waking up with ornately-enshafted hammers next to me in the morning.

  18. malkav11 says:

    To be fair, nobody could pursue relationships from the first Mass Effect in the second, as the characters that were romanceable in #1 weren’t allowed to join your party in #2. Which was okay by me, as my heart had been with Tali all along.

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      ^This, all the way

      Which would make me very sad if Tali isn’t in your party next time round.

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      Lambchops says:

      For some mad reason known only to my self in Mass Effect 2 I stayed loyal to drippy, dull accidental partner who I was just trying to be nice to in conversations Kaiden. Partly because I feared equally cringeworthy accidental sex scenes (that sounds rather dodgy doesn’t it?) and partly because I want to see if he crops up in part 3.

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      I accidently ended up having awkward sex with Liana out of politeness in ME1.

      I was just being a good friend to her and Ashley, so when they cornered me out of the blue and asked which one I wanted I panicked and picked one. Who I then felt sort of obliged to sleep with. It was awkward and uncomfortable and very similar to how one of my real long term relationships started.

      I should have just picked Liana because she’d have would make a more interesting story when Shepherd got back to the bar, but I’m not terribly good at blokeyness

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      stahlwerk says:

      Kaiden is the embodiment of the term “Mixed Signals”. I’m still of the opinion that he just misunderstood Shephard’s buddying as awkward advances he could take advantage of, and then guilt tripped her into sacrificing ashley and subsequent sexual intercourse. Passive aggressive mind control master that he is.

    • bleeters says:

      Somewhat more annoying was the lack of ways to turn him down without being a cold blooded bitch about it. I’ve generally ended up just begrudgingly going along with it until he eventually dies in a nuclear explosion, thus solving the problem.

  19. Dreamhacker says:

    Is this going to get banned in the US now? And get free advertising on Fox News?

    • bildo says:

      explain how a game get “banned” in the U.S….it would be the first time I’ve encountered such a problem.

    • cjlr says:

      Well, since an AO rating is a complete retail death sentence…

    • Hidden_7 says:

      That’s considerably different from being banned, however. It’s an independent retailer deciding not to sell something, not the government saying what you can or can’t sell. By that logic indie games are “banned” in the US because Wal-Mart doesn’t carry them.

  20. thegooseking says:

    @ John Walker, surely calling it ‘accurately’ mature is, at this point, premature?

    @ Commenters, surely calling it ‘immature’ is, at this point, premature?

    Now you can all make jokes about how I used the word ‘premature’ – twice! – in response to a post about sex. Because that would be mature.

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      I feel your anticipation of our jokes was premature

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      stahlwerk says:

      Naturally, all that can be said at this juncture about DA2′s features is conjecture.

    • Lilliput King says:

      stahlwerk: Are you saying our intercourse is premature?

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      I thought pre-mature intercourse was generally frowned upon?

  21. DestructibleEnvironments says:

    Oh dear, I wonder how Fox News is going to tackle that one. Homophobia is so yesteryear.

    • bildo says:

      Interesting…why the use of the word homophobia? Are you *gasp* assuming everyone who doesn’t like to witness gaiety is homophobic :X Just wanna get this one straight.

    • bleeters says:

      There’s always the option to simply not have a gay character, in that case.

  22. Shazbut says:

    Question:

    Is it immature to show a sexual scene which might titillate an audience?

    • 7rigger says:

      It entirely depends on if the scene was meant to titillate. Otherwise it’s really the viewer. Are nude models expected to titillate?

    • Shadram says:

      @JKjoker: “and yes i think its immature to have more press releases about the gay options and “matureness” than about the gameplay”

      It’s not a press release, it’s the just ESRP rating being posted online. I’d be surprised if either EA or BioWare sent out a press release saying “We made a game with blowjobs and homos in it!” Actually, judging by the DA:O/Marilyn Manson trailers put together by EA’s marketing department, I wouldn’t be too surprised.

  23. Shatners Bassoon says:

    As long as you can’t accidentally wander into sex scenes like the Witcher. I was just being nice! I didn’t want to have sex with her, honestly. My girlfriend came to see what I was yelling at and then gave me the most puzzlng look. Damn you Triss Merrigold.

  24. John P says:

    I’d prefer the characters argue about taxes and wonder how they’re going to afford a mortgage in the current economic climate.

  25. Nikolaj says:

    So I guess mature still means sex, gay or otherwise. The first line of the article is a bit misleading, in my opinion.

  26. Berzee says:

    In today’s adventure Berzee learns something he never knew before — talking about sex == maturity, and talking about various kinds of it == more maturity.

    Couldn’t we have a game that lets you take the really mature option of NOT jumping into a sexual relationship with no more commitment than some flirty dialogue? Like OH I DUNNO GET MARRIED? People do that sometimes in real life, you know. As long as we’re talking about options, Bioware…

    but maybe people in their universes are too “mature” for something like making promises like that.

    • Berzee says:

      In this way, Harvest Moon was the most mature game I’ve ever played =)

    • thegooseking says:

      Yeah, imagine if the player character could marry another character in Dragon Age. It would be… just like that bit in the first game, where a human noble could marry either Alistair or Anora (depending on gender: no gay there). Imagine if BioWare did something like they already did!

    • Berzee says:

      Oh good, I never played it, but now I know.

      Thanks, I’m happier now. =)

  27. Berzee says:

    And the Sims possibly? I never played that long enough to find out if sims could get married if they didn’t start the game married.

    • terry says:

      IIRC they can.

    • Berzee says:

      See, look at me getting all worked up over nothing :) Sort of.

    • cjlr says:

      No gay marriage, though, mind… Though it’s trivial to mod if you are so inclined.

    • Premium User Badge

      TeraTelnet says:

      Well, there’s the ‘Joined Union’ in Sims 2 and by the time of Sims 3, full same-sex marriage is in.

    • pipman3000 says:

      sims 3 has gay marriage.

      one of my first families was a black dude with a green mohawk married to a fat balding old white guy who looked kind of like dick cheney. so yeah you can same-sex marry in the sims.

    • Grape says:

      …But still no sex being had by absolutely anyone under 20, though. Really, even in this enlightened day and age, where a mainstream developer gets away with gay marriage and homosexuality without way too many people screaming in wrath and horror, that idiotic taboo still exists. Wear your Purity Rings, teenagers!

  28. Premium User Badge

    stahlwerk says:

    Calling it now: “sex” is the new “gritty visuals”.

  29. bildo says:

    I love the smell of “No Russianitis” in the morning. The sex scene with a couple gays is going to be done poorly and a No Russian like hype is going to break out (at least in the U.S.). Super.

    50% chance of American media outrage. Myself, being American, will have to hear all the blathering about sexuality in videogames on local and national news channels. God damn it.

    Bioware pushing sex in the games. Their games still suck, so I won’t be seeing the man on man silliness.

    • bleeters says:

      That a short, fade-in-and-out scene depicting two men getting it on is seen as controversial as an airport full of civilians being massacred depresses me greatly. So, well done for that.

  30. something says:

    You can start putting sex in games, only when you’ve managed to include a believable romantic relationship and not before, mister.

    • Berzee says:

      hear hear!

    • zergrush says:

      To be fair, giving the partner a lot of wine / jewelry / presents plus awkward dialogue followed by weird shame inducing dry-humping is probably closer to the average sexual relation than believable romantic relationships.

    • Mad Hamish says:

      Agreed. Any Bioware game I’ve played in which there were romance plots with other characters was horribly written and terribly awkward. Most of time there is zero romantic chemistry between the characters and they might have flirty dialogue for like three or four scenes together, all other dialogue is pretty standard RPG stuff.
      Then if you make the right dialogue choices, you win!! Cut to sex scene. Then after it’s all back to normal it seems. You’re dialogue choices don’t even seem to change even though you’re in a romantic/sexual relationship with one of your party. None of the other characters even seem to notice. Not even a crude joke from one of your male companions. It’s far too rigid a system. Games have had far better romances written into them plenty of times that never got beyond flirting.
      Now Bioware do suck at this, but I guess they’re at least trying. However announcing that you’re trying to be all mature by adding homosexual and oral sex to your little romance subplots just seems immature.

    • Kryopsis says:

      I wholeheartedly agree with the spirit of this discussion. Romantic relationships in most games seem to play out like a typical De Beers commercial. Dragon Age: Origins is certainly not an exception to the rule.

    • Shadram says:

      All of my characters’ relationships with Alistair in DA:O were romantic. You can’t not fall for him. Morrigan isn’t interested if you try to be romantic with her, which fits her character well. Leliana’s just weird, so I never even tried to romance her. And Zevran was a bit of a lothario and would sleep with anything with a pulse, so that’s not too unrealistic either.

      Overall, I found the relationships to be pretty well done in DA:O. The only awkwardness was from the sex scenes themselves, but they were only 5 seconds long and you only see them the first time you get down and dirty with the character. Hell, there’s no scene at all if you just sleep with a prostitute at the bordello. I agree it would have been better not to show it at all, that a fade to black would have sufficed, but it’s not that big a deal to have a couple of weird 5 second cut scenes in an 80hr+ game.

  31. Kilrathi says:

    Maybe the demo is long enough for me to get to the second base. If I’m not mistaken that’s in 2 weeks!

  32. fenriz says:

    I think it’s good that games include these matters, but i wish Dragon age would be mature in the gameplay, first. How can a game be called mature if all you do is kill?

  33. Binman88 says:

    I think it’s weird to see designers try to make their games more “realistic” by adding in casual swearing (that almost never sounds casual, rather more stilted), and sex. People end up finding these parts of the game laughable because they stick out too much from the general atmosphere of the game.

    Maybe I’m slightly contradicting myself, but I found the approach to sex taken by The Witcher to be far more palatable, because it just made sense in that game. In Dragon Age, it was just a bit silly and awkward.

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      No, I agree. For all that the Witcher was accused of tastelessness, rightfully in part, I felt that it handled the actual sexings rather well. The cards were a rather good substitute for weird uncanny valley polygonal gymnastics, though they did have the awkward thing that I found my collector impulse stirred by them and so I need all of them, which I guess sort of fits with me roleplaying Geralt a compulsive womaniser… Difficult.

  34. Kollega says:

    There’s one thing i don’t understand. Dragon Age II is a medieval/early Renaissance-level society, and is proclaimed to be a “darker” take on the medieval european fantasy (racism, classism, yada yada yada). Mass Effect is a space opera, again, darker than Star Trek, but still more advanced and tolerant than even the modern day, not to mention Middle Ages. Yet there’s no homosexual romantic subplot in Mass Effect (and no, Liara dosen’t count), where it’s actually plausible, and there is one in Dragon Age, despite the fact that in this kind of time and place homosexuality would probably attract lynching mobs of enormous size or repressions originating from the government… or both at the same time.

    Why do we have such a situation unfolding before us? Explain to me. EXPLAIN TO ME! THE ATHORE COMENTS AL TOTOL LIES!

    • Premium User Badge

      TheApologist says:

      Is it supposed to be stick dudes?

    • Premium User Badge

      TheApologist says:

      Also, I agree with this.

    • Grape says:

      I have to agree with the good Kollega. Just because a game has the option to play as an LGBT person, it shouldn’t automatically mean that the game universe has to be an equal-opportunity, same-rights paradise, where everyone accepts each other regardless of sexuality.

      I want to be able to play as a gay character in a game that at least semi-accurately portrays Medieval ignorance and fundamentalism, where you could have subplots and side-quest -type things where you and your same-sex partner had to try and escape the authorities together, or something like that. Or you could enter into a secret love-affair with some rich noble that would give the player lots of material benefits, but you’d have to keep it a secret, or you’d both be beheaded for Sodomy.

      Maybe one day, after maybe two or three more generations have passed, a developer might have the balls to try and pull that off. That could be really interesting.

    • Shadram says:

      The greeks and romans didn’t have a problem with it 2000 years ago, so it’s not too difficult to imagine a historical society where it’s acceptable. On the other hand, if they’d made the Chantry behave like Christianity in the dark ages and change everyone’s opinion to make it a taboo, it could have had some interesting gameplay consequences.

    • Bret says:

      That’s as far as it goes with Mordin.

      He’s not into sex with dudes.

      Or humans.

      Or at all.

      But he does mention that, if he was at all, he’d totally do it with Commander Shepard. This may have been out of pity, as you only get that discussion if you aren’t calibrating with anyone else.

    • gwathdring says:

      In ancient greece, there were regions in which the theoretical, romanticized version of love was between a man and a boy. I wouldn’t have wanted to be the towel boy in an Athenian bath house. There are also islands in the pacific and cultures both still present and long gone from all over the world where sexual rites of passage involve same-sex pairings (the men passing their knowledge onto boys that they may become men seems to be surprisingly common sexual motif in ancient societies) or where homosexuals are accepted readily (back to Greece, the spartan army practiced homosexuality in the ranks to keep the men closer; it wasn’t just OK, it was expected).

      Europe wasn’t the only place that existed in the 1100s. Besides, Medieval Fantasy has two words in it, the second being rather forgiving of historical inadequacies.

    • Towercap says:

      ^This.

      Homosexuality was no taboo in the history of many cultures. I’d say the main excuse for homophobia nowadays is religion. Unless the Morninglord, or whatever, has something smitey to say about gays, I don’t see why it should be a taboo in a fictional setting.

  35. ChampionHyena says:

    ASS BASTARD SHIT

    Thought I’d throw that out there, get all the bases covered.

    • Sarkhan Lol says:

      Generally, I hear “ass”, “bastard” and “shit” in just about every game I play. Because I’m saying them, loudly, while my neighbors have one hand on the phone wondering whether they should call 911.

  36. Premium User Badge

    daphne says:

    What I don’t like about Bioware romances is that by now, the sheer deterministic nature of the “romances” eventually make it difficult to care about the whole ordeal at all. I more or less know that stuff will progress along a path of “TALK UNTIL SEX IS HAD. FROM NOW ON YOU HAVE SEX” without fail, and that knowledge kinda mischievously spoils the whole experience from the back of my head. It might woo the greener Bioware-gamer, but I’ve played just about all of them now and the announcement that DA2 is “mature” probably makes me roll my eyes more than anything else. Some randomness, unpredictability… some nondeterminism would be nice. You know, like real relationships, between real people?

  37. BobsLawnService says:

    Can someone explain to me how gay loving is any more mature than hetero loving?

    • Towercap says:

      Because a gay relationship may be confronting to an average adolescent manchild?

    • BobsLawnService says:

      Since when did trolling manchildren become the definition of mature?

      As far as I’m concerned this is more patronising towards gays than anything else.

    • Towercap says:

      It’s more mature because it’s a taboo, then.

      Also, trolling manchildren is it’s own terribad reward.

  38. dogsolitude_uk says:

    I kind of preferred The Witcher’s approach. For me the little card pictures just represented happy memories of ladies Geralt has ‘known’… [As an aside, when I mentioned to my g/f that they weren't going to be in Witcher 2 her response was 'aww...' When she get's a decent PC Witcher is the first game she wants installed on it, though I think it's 'cos she fancies Geralt]

    The polygonal dry-humping mentioned here, however, seems a mite disturbing, gay or straight. O_o

    One thing that occurred to me is that IRL gay folk still have a lot of social issues to deal with: alienation from family and friends and prejudice being a major part of their lives in many cases. I’m wondering if this will be reflected in the game?

    …And if you go into battle with your partner (regardless of gender) and they get wopped, do you suffer an Int penalty and a Str buff for being blinded with angry rage and grief?

    Hell, I’ve always found it difficult to concentrate on work stuff when having relationship issues, I dread to think how I’d react if my g/f got eaten by a dragon.

    • Wulf says:

      This one I just had to reply to.

      Should it come up in the game? Honestly, no, I don’t think it should. I’d for once actually like to see gay relationships done without any awkwardness or disingenuous approaches to social outcasting. New Vegas even, as much as I loved that game, suffered with this problem. It’s a problem for me because it reinforces negative ideas and stereotypes. I’m sure people get off on being d-bags to gays, there is no doubt in my mind of this, and they’d enjoy that all too much in a game as well.

      Really, our entertainment should be trying to raise the bar, and indeed the brow. I’m almost a bloody authority on discrimination. No one can top me. I have a likely terminal illness that’s done horrible things to my brain and left me socially retarded, so I always always seen as strange, and someone on the outside, I’m gay (which absolutely was never a choice for me), I’m a romanticist in ways that most people forget to understand how to be after childhood, and I’m chummy with people like me, who’re strange and off the wall, and often get demonised because people don’t know how to deal with us.

      Furthermore, I’m a contherianthrope spiritually (took to that early on since I tend to prefer dogs to people, as the vast majority of the persons I’ve known have been inexcusable monsters), I hang out with furries and find them to be truly pleasant creatures who’ve been helping me to socialise and deal with my problems, and providing a safe environment for me to learn how to actually do these things in, something that no one else ever really gave me the chance to do. This is why I say that normal, healthy people need first to learn how to walk a mile in another’s shoes.

      Now showing the pain of another person won’t cut it. We’ve tried that, it doesn’t work. It just makes the viewer hate the character for being far too abnormal. Instead I think that entertainment should show people being completely accepting of those who are different, strange, and outside of social norms. Of course, the gay community would be included in this. I’d like just once for a games developer to have the balls to paint a picture of a bizarre world, one with all manners of creature in it, of all types of sexuality and belief, where total equality exists. Problems can still arise, but not from those things. Such a depiction through the art of immersion and escapism might reach people.

      I don’t think we should continue to embrace negativity towards those who aren’t perfectly normal, and healthy, (and most likely averagely Caucasian,) instead we should be showing people how it could be. Giving them a bit of a wake up call. I don’t think it’s right for people to be monsters. I’m tired of it, and showing them how the world might be if they weren’t monsters would be a step in the right direction, in my opinion. Most of us are against misogyny here, so we should be against all sorts of other forms of discrimination too; creed, race, sexuality, spirituality, identity, and so on. Except people aren’t. They’re incredibly picky about what forms of discrimination are or aren’t okay. This makes them hypocrites but it also makes them monsters.

      No one likes being discriminated against. Either to a small degree or a large one. People have feelings.

      I long for a game that has the balls to say to a player – yeah, you’re probably a monster, but the people of this imaginary world aren’t, so you should try to be more like them. That would be a step in the right direction.

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      Wulf, don’t lump Race, disabilitity and sexuality in with spirituality. You’re cheapening your argument when you compare someone who has been discriminated for their sexuality and someone who is discriminated against becuase they believe they have a dragon’s soul and that crystals heal.

  39. Jimbo says:

    Whatever, Liara totally counts (for all intents and purposes, she is portrayed as a female character), and playing as Renegade Fem Shep, the scenes at the end of the Shadow Broker DLC are some of the best in the series. Some of the best in gaming full stop imo.

  40. Selix says:

    “Sailing is like sex. Do it wrong, and it’ll make you sick.”

    Oh the wit of Bioware writers. It’s as good as just reading a forum.

  41. Shih Tzu says:

    You know, I would have been more likely to play the Kane & Lynch games if they had been named “Assbastard & Shit”. Much more likely.

  42. katinkabot says:

    I liked it in DA:O. As stated above, my heart belongs to Alistair. I have to agree with some comments stating that there are better video game relationships out there, but out of all the Bioware games Dragon Age has done it best. I kind of loved how charming Alistair was.

    I couldn’t get into the Mass Effect relationships for 2 notable reasons: A. The woman who voices the chick Shepard does a lot of voice over work for ladies products on Lifetime and I really could not get past that. and B. When I tried to play a guy, he sounded like such a d-bag that I didn’t care who he ended up with as long as he pissed them and everyone else off.

    Actually, looking this over, I imagine that the romances won’t be anything more than what they are in Mass Effect…pretty dull. I think voice acting for the hero was a bad idea for a number of reasons, it’s hard to become emotionally invested in something which has been given its own voice, demeanor, and speech pattern – something you could project on your silent hero in the first one. We’ll see, I pre-ordered it with a gift-card, so no loss to me.

  43. Kaltano says:

    Thunder Humper!

  44. gulag says:

    I should probably finish the first one.

  45. DigitalSignalX says:

    To be fair to the ME2 Liara scorn, it’s addressed some in the shadow broker DLC. She’ll “come up to the captains cabin for coffee” after the mission is complete.

  46. Basilard says:

    It should have an achievement associated. It would drive the completionists mad.

  47. ToastyChicken says:

    This isn’t new… or am I missing something? You could sleep with a same sex character in the first game. Hell there was even a tranny prostitute at the brothel.

    • gwathdring says:

      Ah, but now you can sleep with a same sex character as a character not of your choosing. That’s more choices. Or something …

  48. Matzerath says:

    “You know, shitting with your ass on bastards is a lot like having sex on a sailboat … it rocks!”

  49. Melf_Himself says:

    Cool, more unnecessary and awkward sex scenes that feel like they’re pitched at 15 year old boys.

    Can’t wait for POV pr0n in Dragon Age IV as “the ultimate roleplaying experience”.

  50. Toshley says:

    While there are many things in DA2 that I am not happy with, which have probably driven me to not purchase this game, it’s a breath of fresh air to hear something about this game that I approve of.

    I just hope for some characters in this game that are completely homosexual. If I recall correctly, DA:O had only heterosexuals and bisexuals.