Every so often a small congregation of parents and politicians finds some new reason to denounce video games in the name of sexual purity. They typically complain about things like nudity and the oversexualization of female characters (which is probably valid), but it's their predictions about the future that always make me giggle.
The strange part, at least for me, is the way that the opponents to these adult-themed titles think that they can predict the way that society will react. For them, games like Grand Theft Auto and God of War are a gateway drug that will lead to a rise of unhealthy, computer-oriented sexual behavior. In other words, they think that publishers will just release a never-ending stream of sex games.
But none of it every actually materializes, so the congregation is forced to bring their torches and pitchforks somewhere else until another controversial game attracts their attention.
Recently, Scientist David Levy, president of the International Computer Games Association, predicted that by 2050 android technology will have progressed to the point where humans will have romantic feelings for robots. "Humans will fall in love with robots," says Levy, "humans will marry robots, and humans will have sex with robots, all as (what will be regarded as) 'normal' extensions of our feelings of love and sexual desire for other humans."
Now, I'm sure that the same group of parents and politicians that hates video games will jump on Levy's statement and denounce technology as the devil's tool belt, but even if Levy's robo-fantasy does become a reality, it'll be on the outskirts of civilized society. People have been creating overtly sexualized technology and video games for decades and, much to the disappointment of those parents and politicians, they've never found a mainstream market.
Society isn't unraveling. In fact, the opposite is true.
Violent crime is down, we've become more accepting of alternative lifestyles, and education is on the rise. Who knows what effect video games, and other potentially sexual technologies, will have on the future, but it's certainly not as terrifying as some people believe.
Date: March 8, 2013