This is an archive of a previous Meaningful Play. View current Meaningful Play.

meaningful play 2008 travel

Session Information

TitleWhen Will Games Grow Up?: Handling Adult Topics In Video Games
Presenter(s)Damon BrownDamon Brown writes about sex, technology, music and video games for Playboy, New York Post and Family Circle, and is the tech columnist for AARP Online and PlanetOut. He is the author of several books, most recently Porn & Pong: How Grand Theft Auto, Tomb Raider and Other Sexy Games Changed Our Culture.

TimeFriday, October 10, 2:30p-3:30p
LocationGreen Room
DescriptionIn the past three decades mainstream video games have become a multibillion dollar entertainment industry, yet the medium itself rarely reaches the emotional depth currently achieved by books, movies or even graphic novels. The issue becomes abundantly clear when game designers attempt to tackle anything outside of mindless violence, treasure hunting or sports simulators. Personal relationships between characters are often glossed over, if created at all, and sexuality is depicted in clichd virility shorthand: Large breasts, chiseled muscles and big guns.

Today, new games are attempting to mature the medium. Bioware's Mass Effect (Microsoft, 2007) depicted perhaps the first mature sexual relationship, while titles such as The Sims series (EA) and World of Warcraft (Blizzard, 2004) explore human dynamics in alternative settings. The Electronic Software Association pegs the average gamer as a 35-year-old male, the same man who likely grew up with video games in the eighties. Will the graying of the video game audience create a better array of mature games or will deeper topics remain untouched or mishandled?

I would love to moderate a MSU Meaningful Play Roundtable Discussion Session, "When Will Games Grow Up?: Handling Adult Topics In Video Games". We will talk about how mature topics have been handled in the past, what to expect from the next generation of games and ways designers can better tackle adult-oriented ideas such as sex, interpersonal relationships and marriage. It should be a fun, stimulating conversation.

Return to Schedule