BioWare Talks Video Game Romance In The Post-‘SeXbox’ Era

First there was “Mass Effect.” Next there was the Fox News’ report on the game’s alleged “Luke Skywalker Meets ’Debbie Does Dallas'” themes. Then came the subsequent fallout.

So at Game Developers Conference last month I asked the founders of “Mass Effect” developer BioWare how they’ll handle love and sex in future games

Their response:

As with all videos, it is not available to anyone using computers with IP addresses in Japan, the U.K. and Canada (sorry Ray and Greg!).

Here’s an excerpt for people who can’t watch the video:

Ray Muzyka, General Manager, BioWare: We’re proud of the mature plots that we build into our games. They’re really appropriate for the type of story we’re trying to convey. And romance is part of that. It’s part of life. It’s part of an interaction — a healthy relationship with other people. But it’s optional, too. You don’t have to have romances in “Mass Effect” or in our prior games, but they’re available to you if you want and if you want to progress that part of the storyline. But they’re very tasteful, very appropriate. And they’re certainly appropriate for the level of rating, which, in “Mass Effect”’s case was mature.

And I think we’re going to continue doing those things. As an artform it’s exciting that people are actually reacting — they’re feeling something as a result of seeing these kinds of mature plots developing in games now as an emerging artform. The same kind of things happened at the start of movies. The same kinds of things happened at the start television and the advent of television and music, even paintings and books going way, way, way back. The same kinds of reactions — people were scandalized by certain things [and saying] “How can they be?” A lot of it is understanding how it can be appropriate and really not gratuitous at all. Just really appropriate and making the gameplay much better. We’re very proud of the work we’ve put in and our teams are amazing.