TOO FAR?

‘Seduce Me’ game causes controversy

As Princess Peach is kidnapped by the giant ape Donkey Kong, a mustached plumber comes to her rescue. As players move the mustached protagonist up several ladders and avoid tons of barrels, they eventually save the princess and everything appears well.

This was the first introduction of the plumber that our culture knows as Mario. He has led gamers to tropical islands, dark-dank underground tunnels and even space. Since Nintendo’s 1985 “Super Mario Bros,” release, the video game industry has evolved. Gamers aren’t confined to just climbing ladders, eating mushrooms and jumping on heads anymore.

But instead of rescuing the damsel in distress, a game was released to seduce women and beat your record for how quickly you can get them out of their dress.

No Reply Games, a gaming development team, has recently sent out a new online game called “Seduce Me.” Players control a male character who plays a card game with several attractive women in a beachside house. Players earn points through the card game and can perform activities that include persuading a virtual female character to sleep with them.

The game isn’t violent, but it is intended for nothing other than pornography.

In response, advertisers and gaming publishers have turned down any notion of selling the game.

Miriam Bellard, a game developer, said she thinks video games already go too far to depict woman characters sexually in games, according to Imagine Games Network, an American entertainment website. She said she thinks those against “Seduce me” are hypocrites for banning the game from online retailers when there are games too violent.

James Ferraro, an associate professor in Physiology, said virtually all past technology has had a sexually explicit component to it early in its life cycle. He said he doesn’t think video games should be exempt from the rights other media outlets have received in the past.

“I think people (of age) should have the right personally to choose whatever kind of material he or she would like to see,” he said.

Ferraro said there is nothing inherently wrong with porn that signifies it would be degrading to women, he said. However, he said he thinks there are ways it can be degrading if pushed to those intended extents. Overall, western society will be much better off if it was more worried about violent material in media than sexually explicit ones.

Alex Soldner, a junior from Algonquin studying architecture, sides with Ferraro on this notion.

“I think a lot video games do go over the line with violence … I guess it’s OK if it goes over the line the other way (if monitored),” he said. “While I love playing role-playing games and first-person shooters, I’m open to new games and “Seduce Me” is something I would try.”

Andrew Clausen, president of the Gamers RSO, said he thinks games such as “Seduce Me” should have the right to market itself to its intended adult audience.

“It’s not my cup of tea and I wouldn’t play it, but I know people that would maybe be interested in games like this,” Clausen said. “The industry needs to stay open for expression.”

Video games should have the same right of expression as any other medium,” he said.

Michael Raats, a junior from Milwaukee studying computer science, said he doesn’t like the direction many games are heading with violent or sexually explicit content.

Video games use to have something having some form of innocence, he said. But with the release of games such as “Grand Theft Auto” and “Seduce Me,” Raats said the industry is becoming more corrupted. Games like this he said promote acts such as stealing, murdering or being lustful in a virtual context.

Raats said while a person might not be physically performing these actions, it’s just as bad to desire doing these actions in a virtual world.

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