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Social More Mature Games

Guilty_AI

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3 excellent points

However, if a AA games like Hellblade is able to do great, realistic-looking graphics, touch on a very heavy subject, and still have it an interesting gaming experience, I feel a more mature, relationship-oriented game could be a possibility in the future. Even welcomed

I’m not saying like a realistic version of It Takes Two, but some ideas from it could definitely be used for a more mature-themed game
Hellblade is actually an example of why it couldn't. The game certainly did well for an AA production, but we're talking 500k copies in 3 months, 1M after an year, across all platforms, and it isn't even a full priced game.
Those aren't the numbers big budget AAA games ar looking for
 
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WitchHunter

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In your opinion, what is the real reason we barely ever get even more mature type of videogames?

Ignore the fact that a large number of games tend to fall onto super violent and gory territory, where characters act like mass murderers without any type of remorse or don’t even have questionning for their own brutal actions, and let’s focus instead on different types of mature subjects, like sex and relationship

There are the obvious reasons for barely ever getting a game where people have sexual relations (or barely ever sex-related/relationship-related subject games, and when we do, it’s kind of brought up with non-realistic graphics, à-la-Catherine), as this would basically cut off a huge chunk of gamers solely based on age alone, but wouldn’t there be a market, still, for those types of games, in this day and age ? Demographics shows there’s a lot, lot more ‘’older’’ gamers out there nowadays

If you go with one of the closest comparison, which are movies, even though films rated PG or 13+ tend to bring a lot more than a rated R film at the box office, there’s still a very profitable market for more mature-oriented films, still

So what is still stopping gaming to tap (yes yes I said tap, haha iz funny) into this territory?

You guys go ahead and start posting your pics of Abby, and get out of your system all your pee-pee and vagine jokes, but I’m interested to see why you think gaming tends to refrain from heading towards this nowadays
Statistics rule. That made X million? We must make another X.
Most studios work by copying others. 95% of the games are copycats in different skin. Just like monkeys do, mirroring each other. And when something new comes and becomes a hit EVERYONE is making copycat games. GTA3, PUBG, WOW etc. Everyone wanted to duplicate their success... by copying.
Risk aversion. Everyone waits for someone else to innovate.

Most of the mature games come from nonUS publishers-developers.
Market control.
 
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NahaNago

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This might sound a little sexist but the reason we don't get more of the mature type of games that you want is mostly because the console gaming audience is adult males and they aren't looking for those deep relationship dramas in their games
 
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Quazar77

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I usually look at subject matter or delivery of the subject. Fate of the world is a good example of a mature game from its subject matter while still delivering an actual game. Final fantasy 14 explores many mature themes throughout storm blood and even shadowbringers, and they often use college level diction, and journey explored life itself.

Violence, sex, and relationships are things fifteen year olds are capable of, and don't reflect a mature theme or subject.
I’ll have to look up Fate of the World
I have actually never heard of it

C'mon, no fun allowed!?
Just a joke pal! ;)
Sorry, I have a strict code of conduct based on Naughty Dog’s ‘’Can’t use the word fun’’
😜 I’m kidding too, of course

Hellblade is actually an example of why it couldn't. The game certainly did well for an AA production, but we're talking 500k copies in 3 months, 1M after an year, across all platforms, and it isn't even a full priced game.
Those aren't the numbers big budget AAA games ar looking for
I get that. Hellblade didn’t strike gold everywhere. But with the right approach, and perhaps a bit more interesting gameplay, I’m not willing to admit this simply cannot be done

On a side note, I never knew what Hellblade’s budget was in the end, or if they were able to get at least even with revenues
 

Quazar77

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BJ from the wife or a simulation on screen yeah ill take the real thing too.
You’re probably not tall enough to get on this ride here, because the point sure passed you over

I would love to see more games not shy away from exploring any difficult, dark and uneasy subject matter, and one day see something like This War of Mine done with an AAA budget.

Problem is that such themes severely limit their target audience which at modern budgets is something only a few studios can afford.

It really is about diversity in what this medium has to offer and it's ok to enjoy different flavors of it - we need those games as much as we need a new Astrobot.
This. 100% this

Statistics rule. That made X million? We must make another X.
Most studios work by copying others. 95% of the games are copycats in different skin. Just like monkeys do, mirroring each other. And when something new comes and becomes a hit EVERYONE is making copycat games. GTA3, PUBG, WOW etc. Everyone wanted to duplicate their success... by copying.
Risk aversion. Everyone waits for someone else to innovate.

Most of the mature games come from nonUS publishers-developers.
Market control.
As much as I hate to admit this, there is a lot of truth in there

But I don’t expect this from a AAA game. I’m exactly expecting this from a rogue indie or very creative AA studio
 
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Spaceman292

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Is that a fact?
Honestly asking, I haven’t played it yet


And that’s coming from someone who calls people morons on a gaming message board

You are right, violence against women, attempt to sexually abuse, kidnapping children, torture. Totally not mature subject. I think those themes are also explored in Mario Galaxy, but I could be wrong
I phrased it wrong. The subjects are mature, it's just that they're handled terribly. The one female character gets sexually assaulted in almost every single scene she's in, including a dream sequence by ninjas.
 

Quazar77

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This might sound a little sexist but the reason we don't get more of the mature type of games that you want is mostly because the console gaming audience is adult males and they aren't looking for those deep relationship dramas in their games
Believe it or not, not ony have I considered my own generation age while writing this topic (80’s kid now in my 40’s), I also considered the recent statista study saying women now counts for 45% of gamers (us-oriented study, and may not reflect rest of the world 100%, but the point remains)

I phrased it wrong. The subjects are mature, it's just that they're handled terribly. The one female character gets sexually assaulted in almost every single scene she's in, including a dream sequence by ninjas.
Now that, I can agree on 👍
 

Guilty_AI

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I get that. Hellblade didn’t strike gold everywhere. But with the right approach, and perhaps a bit more interesting gameplay, I’m not willing to admit this simply cannot be done
It can, its just they're a dime in a dozen.
I'd say some Rockstar games for example, like the RDR series or L.A. Noire had fairly mature stories (not GTA). I guess Deus Ex series too, though they leaned a bit heavily on the whole conspiracy thing. Sure they weren't about relationships or anything, but they still did a good job at writing serious stories with actual human beings in them.
 
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Jaybe

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The creative talent that delivers on these themes are writing novels and to a lesser extent movies and TV. These are where the awards and recognition for said talent (and pay) are.
 
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DonkeyPunchJr

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I think there’s also the fact that real gripping drama is something that is hard to do right. Many movies and tv shows try and fail to achieve it.

With video games, now they have the added burden of CGI/motion captured characters. Plus you actually have to, you know, have something that’s fun and exciting for the player to do.

Plus usually you are playing a game as a hero who solves problems by killing. So in-between these mature cutscenes, you go around killing dozens of people without a single hint of remorse. So I think it can be difficult to make that mesh with a more mature story.

so I dunno, maybe it’s possible. But if I see a game that claims to maturely explore the theme of sex and relationships or whatever, my interest level goes to zero.
 

Quazar77

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It can, its just they're a dime in a dozen.
I'd say some Rockstar games for example, like the RDR series or L.A. Noire had fairly mature stories (not GTA). I guess Deus Ex series too, though they leaned a bit heavily on the whole conspiracy thing. Sure they weren't about relationships or anything, but they still did a good job at writing serious stories with actual human beings in them.
Oh yeah, any more ‘’mature’’ content in gaming is welcomed in my book. LA Noire did tackle a few of those, so I’m all for it (even though, as you said, it has very little to do with relationship subjects). Same with Deus Ex.
But as I said, I’d very doubt a AAA would rely on this heavily, as it goes against that blockbuster mentality. I’d expect something like this coming from a much smaller studio

The creative talent that delivers on these themes are writing novels and to a lesser extent movies and TV. These are where the awards and recognition for said talent (and pay) are.
While I agree, just consider how many people in the cinema industry, from actors, to writers to composers and whatnot are nowadays involved in gaming (not sponsored, but actively working) versus any any generations before 8th. I definitely expect excellence from these people. George RR Martin won’t get a free pass from me only because he’s George RR Martin, per example. Or del Toro

So I do hope this’ll translate in better writing in games. Otherwise, what’s the point
 
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Quazar77

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There are bazillions of sex/romance games on PC, OP. Go play somethings like Treasure of Nadia.
From what I just saw from Treasure of Nadia on youtube, this is like 98% play novel and really, really not the direction I was thinking of. Plus it kind of looks cheesy as fuck, not gonna lie, and everything screams ‘’trying to be mature’’ in their approach (but failing miserably). Like a teenager who thinks he knows about mature relationships. Like me trying to explain string theory to someone and not embarassing myself

I really don’t mean no disrespect, here, but if this is the suggestion to beat, almost any game will do.
Like, any
 

Quazar77

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I think there’s also the fact that real gripping drama is something that is hard to do right. Many movies and tv shows try and fail to achieve it.

With video games, now they have the added burden of CGI/motion captured characters. Plus you actually have to, you know, have something that’s fun and exciting for the player to do.

Plus usually you are playing a game as a hero who solves problems by killing. So in-between these mature cutscenes, you go around killing dozens of people without a single hint of remorse. So I think it can be difficult to make that mesh with a more mature story.

so I dunno, maybe it’s possible. But if I see a game that claims to maturely explore the theme of sex and relationships or whatever, my interest level goes to zero.
I feel exactly the same way
I really wonder if such a balance is possible with video games
But it does not have to be an action game. I’d be interested in a thriller game like Until Dawn (with more actual gameplay and less qte stuff, but actual, engaging gameplay) mixed with a thrilling suspense story like perhaps The Hand That Rocks The Cradle, or Cape Fear, or Basic Instinct (although with less sex scenes, and more focussed on suspense and mystery)
Really wonder if it’d be at all possible
 

bit_blaster

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I think it's because gamers are an immature audience that struggle with concepts and stories that challenge their viewpoints or the norm.

Example being, the last of us part 2, even death stranding.

Some game developers are growing up, but gamers simply aren't, they're stuck in the teenage years even if they're actually like 30.
I enjoy a mature story, but I prefer a book or movie for that since its more of a passive medium that allows for better story telling, whereas games are more interactive and the appeal is primarily the gameplay for most gamers.

Last Of Us 2 sucked because it was nothing more than shallow nihilism disguised as some "there is no right or wrong" story written by people who think they're always right as evident with the narcissistic lead developers effeminate twitter meltdowns. When someone's idea of a mature story is to just subvert and deconstruct everything which is basically a meta way of accusing the player of wasting their time, then its no surprise why this kind of fart huffing doesn't resonate with most gamers who just want to have fun. Death Stranding was likewise just a boring repetitive game regardless of how "deep" the story was.

Gamers don't need to "grow up", they just don't care about pretentious lecturing from Hollywood rejects who resent gaming and the gamer culture.
 

Guilty_AI

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I’d be interested in a thriller game like Until Dawn (with more actual gameplay and less qte stuff, but actual, engaging gameplay) mixed with a thrilling suspense story like perhaps The Hand That Rocks The Cradle, or Cape Fear, or Basic Instinct (although with less sex scenes, and more focussed on suspense and mystery)
dunno if Layers of Fear would be up your alley
 

Quazar77

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The Arthur Morgan and Mary storyline was actually pretty good at showing two people who clearly loved each other but could not be together.
That’s a very good example. I just wish we had more of those 😕

dunno if Layers of Fear would be up your alley
Disliked it 😕 Both 1&2
The intent was there, but the execution and story delivery was subpar in my opinion. All visuals, too little actual substance
I need a team capable of handling Silent Hill 2 type of mature themes. Subtility and deepness. Layers of Fear was definitely not at that level, unfortunately, to me, and I have very, very little hope if they are handling a SH game 😕
 
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The medium determines the kinds of experience that will work or not work.

Games are ways of playing with visual simulations and with electronic toys, so a game that embraces the toylike aspects (Mario or even, say, Minecraft) will just fit better with the medium.

There are some game genres that successfully incorporate a more complex mode of storytelling but most of the attempts fall flat on their face and just turn what would be rather poor movies (Heavy Rain) into mediocre interactive games. Why bother, that’s never a good fit.

Interactive fiction is probably your best bet for higher modes of narrative, but no one plays those except a few of us weirdos. Anyhow the focus on the written word rather than visual simulation makes that different level of narrative focus possible.

I’m never interested in bolting one kind of thing onto another. For instance: If it’s a shooter in its mechanics, then it should be like Doom 2016, embracing the drives that make shooters fun. It always fails to take a genre like that one and try to add a “mature” story in it, because if you’re blasting aliens and baddies, you’re blasting aliens and baddies, and the plot is always just added material which won’t fit.
 

ViolentP

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Violence is okay and sex is not. The result is your product is available to a smaller demographic and as a result of that, profit projections are much lower. Seeing as the only reason games are made are to maximize revenue, it makes no sense to release sexualized games until sex is publicly normalized.
 

NahaNago

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Believe it or not, not ony have I considered my own generation age while writing this topic (80’s kid now in my 40’s), I also considered the recent statista study saying women now counts for 45% of gamers (us-oriented study, and may not reflect rest of the world 100%, but the point remains)
The problem that I see is that I'm pretty sure the 45% covers every platform from console all the way to mobile. Do you really think that purchasers of half of the $60-$70 games are women? I'm not saying female gamers don't exist, since I do know a few of them I just dont' think the statistics are clear enough on the information given.
 
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The problem that I see is that I'm pretty sure the 45% covers every platform from console all the way to mobile. Do you really think that purchasers of half of the $60-$70 games are women? I'm not saying female gamers don't exist, since I do know a few of them I just dont' think the statistics are clear enough on the information given.
Indeed, studies like that one always intentionally blur the categories in order to give an inflated impression of female gaming; because the studies invariably are commissioned only to reinforce the pet diversity initiatives of big corporations. They’re just thinly disguised PR.
 
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NahaNago

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Indeed, studies like that one always intentionally blur the categories in order to give an inflated impression of female gaming; because the studies invariably are commissioned only to reinforce the pet diversity initiatives of big corporations. They’re just thinly disguised PR.
Pretty much this. If they had had a proper break down of the info of the usage between genders on platforms and even genres then I could see it being useful for an argument. I want to give them the benefit of the doubt and say they were just being lazy but I do think it was just biased info for pr.
 

rodrigolfp

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From what I just saw from Treasure of Nadia on youtube, this is like 98% play novel and really, really not the direction I was thinking of. Plus it kind of looks cheesy as fuck, not gonna lie, and everything screams ‘’trying to be mature’’ in their approach (but failing miserably). Like a teenager who thinks he knows about mature relationships. Like me trying to explain string theory to someone and not embarassing myself

I really don’t mean no disrespect, here, but if this is the suggestion to beat, almost any game will do.
Like, any
Well, if you want mature content more like romances then, no.
 

bit_blaster

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Mature games don't need to have "mature content" in them. There are a lot of "PG13" games that are mature and a lot of games with mature content that are immature and childish af.
Exactly, Majora's Mask which is associated with being kid friendly for being a Zelda game actually dealt with the themes of death pretty well, better than a lot of M rated games I'd say.
 
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Quazar77

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Well, if you want mature content more like romances then, no.
I appreciate you trying. Although I never mentioned romance once. I mean deep relationship subjects, not cheesy love story. Things that will add layers to a story (as well as fitting with game mechanics).

Divorce (like in It Takes Two) is a part of deep relationship subjects. Adding layers. And is also reflected perfectly in it’s gameplay (you cannot beat the game without the help of the 2 characters working together, thus reflecting marriage). Can’t a more realistic-looking game use this as a stepping stone?

Adultery also is another subject that could be tackled. Uncharted really may not be the vehicle to do so, but imagine a deeper, darker adventure game where your married character (let’s call him Drake) is unhappily married to a woman (let’s call her Elena), getting stuck in a situation with another girl (let’s call her Chloe) who is his ex, which he really was into (so not like Uncharted at all), so a lot of torn feelings get into play, as well as deeply humanizing flawed characters.
You know what I mean?

Why can’t Lara Croft have a boyfriend/girlfriend, during a game, in a way that would actually impact the game (and not just to be rescued)? Because it would make thousands of teenagers and nostalgic people angry or sad?

That’s more what I meant
 
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Hari Seldon

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I don't think it is possible for video games to hit the same highs as say an excellent TV show, never-mind literature, in terms of complex emotions. Maybe if you had a completely 100% linear walking simulator where you do nothing and just have story blasted at you. And you also convinced an ultra top tier writer to write this for you. If you did all of that then maybe you get a game that has 36 reviews on steam.
 

jason10mm

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Because of the player interaction, I don't think a game can ever craft the same atmosphere that a book or movie can around these types of 'adult' themes. Games tends to present you with binary choices that force you into a 'lesser of two evils' decision matrix that feels very artificial in most situations. Even games that REALY dive into moral quandaries like King of Dragon pass or Banner Saga succumb to forcing decisions on the player that can feel arbitrarily bad.

Lasting negative consequences makes you feel bad. People generally play games to feel good. They want to win, achieve something, defeat evil. Not get raked over the coals as an unwilling participant.
 

BbMajor7th

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Honestly, it's all about audience and capital. Most movies, books, games and music these days are products - they're mass-produced for broad appeal and that means staying to a sensible, palatable middle. That's not a high-minded condescension, it's just the reality of a sort of 'commodity culture' we have arrived at, nor am I implying it's all about that PG13/12A certificate either: adult audiences in most major western markets are still pretty squeamish about sex - there's no denying it. So, to avoid PR headaches, market-prohibitive certifications or simply turning off large parts of their audience, they play it safe.

There are still games out there tackling more mature material, of course, and doing it in really interesting ways, but as with books and films, unless you're more of a connoisseur, you won't come across them that often. Personally, I don't think sex is a major signifier of mature subject matter, we should definitely talk about it more, but most of us come over all bashful the minute it becomes about more than giggling at a dirty joke.

TLOU II is probably the best example of bucking the above trends. It's matter of fact about sex and it doesn't mind showing ordinary-looking folk getting down to it in a very warts-and-all-way. I like that, but I don't think that's what the game was really out to say and I think the inclusion probably distracted a bit too much from the key message, which I think is 100% about class warfare.
 
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azertydu91

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I think it's because gamers are an immature audience that struggle with concepts and stories that challenge their viewpoints or the norm.

Example being, the last of us part 2, even death stranding.

Some game developers are growing up, but gamers simply aren't, they're stuck in the teenage years even if they're actually like 30.
Yep I know some people that stopped playing the game for valid reason linked to the story but I won't spoil.And some that quit because they couldn't understand the story...Maybe understand is niot the right word, empathize would be better suited.
 

Gaelyon

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"Mature" doesn't necessarily mean sex.
There's games which deal with mature themes, subject, philosophy without talking about sex, although yes sex can also be a mature subject of course.

For instance, Disco Elysium is a mature game to me. The story and even the game design approach several themes like politics, philosophy (lightly but still), friendship etc with an artsy/rebel point of view.

God of War PS4, while still a brutish hack n slash has a mature story about grieving and parenthood. It's not an award winning story but it instilled enough reflections to make it an unusual journey.

TLOU2 is obviously a mature game, there's some sex but it goes well above that.

Even Hades has an undertone story fill with mature themes (but not sex despite the tense relationship between Zagreus and Megara).

My point is mature story in video games does happen sometimes, some are really well written with great characters and some thoughtful dialogs, but sex in general is tame or non existant because the video game market is still mainly a "fantasy power" teen market.
 

MiguelItUp

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I would love to see more games not shy away from exploring any difficult, dark and uneasy subject matter, and one day see something like This War of Mine done with an AAA budget.
Agreed. As an 80's kid, growing up in the 90's made me more interested in dark, gory, uneasy content. It's why I love horror and sci-fi horror so much. I'm not some "edgy" guy by any means, but I think growing up around that time period definitely makes it easier to find things like that more appealing.

It just feels like majority of the games nowadays are just SO into making, well, money. So they're more-so trying to cater to a younger audience, or blanket various age groups. That include the younger audience.

I'm so over the moon that they're making a Dead Space remake, and that we've had some other solid AAA games with more mature themes over the last few years. Even if they're not plentiful, it's just nice to know that they're there.
 

TheInfamousKira

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I think it depends on your personal viewpoint about what constitutes a "mature," game. It can really be broken down into three base categories:

Visceral maturity: the type most often gone after in popular gaming. Nudity, sexual situations, drug use, violence, gore. It's low hanging fruit. It imbues the same sense of maturity as going to an R rated movie when you're fifteen.

Thematic maturity: a game with a narrative and themes that place it above the common notion of a "game," Where the world is twisted and flawed and realistic. Where things like death and violence have a tangible impact on the events of the title beyond "this room is safe," or "you got the guy's gold or supplies,"

And mechanical maturity: which I feel is the rarest, but it's often touch on briefly by a lot of titles. Things as simple as environmental storytelling. Scanning something in Metroid Prime or reading a series of notes and memos in Resident Evil or Silent Hill. The "show, don't tell," of Soulsborne games. The game mechanics informing the narrative and vice versa as seen in plenty of the cult classic indie games.

I think in truth a truly mature game would blend all three of these elements in equal amounts in a way that didn't seem gimmicky, or as if you could easily pick out the elements. A broth, and not a stew.

The easiest examples I can think of of games which come CLOSE to this, I've already mentioned briefly, but to touch on again:

Resident Evil Remake: The wealth of notes and files to be found inform the narrative and provide flavor to what would otherwise be a haunted house. There ARE cutscenes which touch on the essential information, but to an engaged player, the first time you learn of Umbrella, of Wesker's betrayal, even of the fact that the monsters you're fighting are intentional experiments and not a plague, all of this comes from files first. The next thing REmake does is bake the feelings you're supposed to have in the role of Chris and Jill into gameplay. The lack of resources, the scarcity of safe havens, the claustrophobic camera angles, the lack of maneuverability. You play by ITS rules, and it respects you enough to expect you to adapt to it's rules.

The Last of Us, Part I. It does the file thing, it does the resource thing. It deals with serious themes and treats death as a finality. It wrestles with ideas of complacency, of sacrifice, of surrogacy, of loss, of sin and redemption. It's not a grimdark tale of hopelessness for the sake of it. Everything feels like it has a place in the narrative. The environmental story telling is ridiculous, too. Every house or building feels lived in, like it has a story to tell. These little vignettes make the world and stakes feel alive.

Those were two very mainstream examples, but I think the reason we see a serious lack of these experiences is both financially motivated and part of the growing pains of a relatively new industry. It's easy to think of these things like stones in time's stream, but compared to movies, television, and music, gaming as a medium is barely out of it's infancy. Not even forty-five years ago, we were chasing ghosts with our yellow giant mouth and sexually assaulting Native American women as a reward for pushing past the throngs of "savage warriors," in our way. Gaming's biggest problem is the way it's evolved. From the jump, it was enamored with aping cinema, to the point where Playstation 1 games often had advertisements with no gameplay, and all FMV footage, as if the very industry of gaming felt it couldn't promote it's own product based on it's unique properties and could only float with the notion of "look how much it looks like a movie,"

Maturity and evolution are the antithesis of mimicry and stagnation. Games as a medium are most fascinating because of their propensity for enhanced immersion and relatability. Developers need to start utilizing the things that make gaming unlike any other form of media in order for the medium to grow and mature. Risk taking. Something that's increasingly discouraged in an industry that's become bigger than Hollywood.

Just my thoughts, sorry for the wall of text.
 

Quazar77

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"Mature" doesn't necessarily mean sex.
There's games which deal with mature themes, subject, philosophy without talking about sex, although yes sex can also be a mature subject of course.

For instance, Disco Elysium is a mature game to me. The story and even the game design approach several themes like politics, philosophy (lightly but still), friendship etc with an artsy/rebel point of view.

God of War PS4, while still a brutish hack n slash has a mature story about grieving and parenthood. It's not an award winning story but it instilled enough reflections to make it an unusual journey.

TLOU2 is obviously a mature game, there's some sex but it goes well above that.

Even Hades has an undertone story fill with mature themes (but not sex despite the tense relationship between Zagreus and Megara).

My point is mature story in video games does happen sometimes, some are really well written with great characters and some thoughtful dialogs, but sex in general is tame or non existant because the video game market is still mainly a "fantasy power" teen market.

&

I think it depends on your personal viewpoint about what constitutes a "mature," game. It can really be broken down into three base categories:

Visceral maturity: the type most often gone after in popular gaming. Nudity, sexual situations, drug use, violence, gore. It's low hanging fruit. It imbues the same sense of maturity as going to an R rated movie when you're fifteen.

Thematic maturity: a game with a narrative and themes that place it above the common notion of a "game," Where the world is twisted and flawed and realistic. Where things like death and violence have a tangible impact on the events of the title beyond "this room is safe," or "you got the guy's gold or supplies,"

And mechanical maturity: which I feel is the rarest, but it's often touch on briefly by a lot of titles. Things as simple as environmental storytelling. Scanning something in Metroid Prime or reading a series of notes and memos in Resident Evil or Silent Hill. The "show, don't tell," of Soulsborne games. The game mechanics informing the narrative and vice versa as seen in plenty of the cult classic indie games.

I think in truth a truly mature game would blend all three of these elements in equal amounts in a way that didn't seem gimmicky, or as if you could easily pick out the elements. A broth, and not a stew.

The easiest examples I can think of of games which come CLOSE to this, I've already mentioned briefly, but to touch on again:

Resident Evil Remake: The wealth of notes and files to be found inform the narrative and provide flavor to what would otherwise be a haunted house. There ARE cutscenes which touch on the essential information, but to an engaged player, the first time you learn of Umbrella, of Wesker's betrayal, even of the fact that the monsters you're fighting are intentional experiments and not a plague, all of this comes from files first. The next thing REmake does is bake the feelings you're supposed to have in the role of Chris and Jill into gameplay. The lack of resources, the scarcity of safe havens, the claustrophobic camera angles, the lack of maneuverability. You play by ITS rules, and it respects you enough to expect you to adapt to it's rules.

The Last of Us, Part I. It does the file thing, it does the resource thing. It deals with serious themes and treats death as a finality. It wrestles with ideas of complacency, of sacrifice, of surrogacy, of loss, of sin and redemption. It's not a grimdark tale of hopelessness for the sake of it. Everything feels like it has a place in the narrative. The environmental story telling is ridiculous, too. Every house or building feels lived in, like it has a story to tell. These little vignettes make the world and stakes feel alive.

Those were two very mainstream examples, but I think the reason we see a serious lack of these experiences is both financially motivated and part of the growing pains of a relatively new industry. It's easy to think of these things like stones in time's stream, but compared to movies, television, and music, gaming as a medium is barely out of it's infancy. Not even forty-five years ago, we were chasing ghosts with our yellow giant mouth and sexually assaulting Native American women as a reward for pushing past the throngs of "savage warriors," in our way. Gaming's biggest problem is the way it's evolved. From the jump, it was enamored with aping cinema, to the point where Playstation 1 games often had advertisements with no gameplay, and all FMV footage, as if the very industry of gaming felt it couldn't promote it's own product based on it's unique properties and could only float with the notion of "look how much it looks like a movie,"

Maturity and evolution are the antithesis of mimicry and stagnation. Games as a medium are most fascinating because of their propensity for enhanced immersion and relatability. Developers need to start utilizing the things that make gaming unlike any other form of media in order for the medium to grow and mature. Risk taking. Something that's increasingly discouraged in an industry that's become bigger than Hollywood.

Just my thoughts, sorry for the wall of text.
I thoroughly enjoyed these 2 posts. Thank you, both 👍
 

spawn

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Feb 15, 2019
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The people who make games fear that if they have hyper sexualized female characters then gamers will become rapists when they're older so they do away with nudity and say something like "this doesn't reflect our current culture" or something to that effect.
 

Umbral

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I think it's because gamers are an immature audience that struggle with concepts and stories that challenge their viewpoints or the norm.

Example being, the last of us part 2, even death stranding.
These titles shouldn’t even be next to each other in writing.
Some game developers are growing up, but gamers simply aren't, they're stuck in the teenage years even if they're actually like 30.
You are too cynical.
 

Swoopsail

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Apr 18, 2021
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The people who make games fear that if they have hyper sexualized female characters then gamers will become rapists when they're older so they do away with nudity and say something like "this doesn't reflect our current culture" or something to that effect.
Yea it's the same with violence too. My parents were so convinced, when I was little, that games like Doom were going to make me take a gun and mow down a bunch of people. To their failed predictions, I became a nurse who is even reluctant to kill a gopher or insect on the wall.
 
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BbMajor7th

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Yea it's the same with violence too. My parents were so convinced, when I was little, that games like Doom were going to make me take a gun and mow down a bunch of people. To their failed predictions, I became a nurse who is even reluctant to kill a gopher or insect on the wall.

The 'normalisation' by exposure argument is so thoroughly debunked at this point: from comic books in the fifties and sixties to video 'nasties' in the 70s, 'satanic panic' over D&D in the eighties to the violent video game furore of the 90s. They never even managed to establish a vague correlation between anti-social behavior and 'bad' content. What's fascinating is that the modern home of that argument is on the broadly progressive side of the political spectrum, despite it's long time home had traditionally been on the conservative.
 
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GymWolf

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People loved rdr2 and arthur journey, it's just that some mature games are better written than others.