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For the gamers out there - I thought you might be interested to hear what the developers of The Witcher 3 think about sex and women in games.

The Senior Game Designer for The Witcher 3 had this to say about a sex scene at the start of the game:

"We are establishing that your character was intimate with this woman recently in order to plant in your mind, that, at the very least, he must enjoy her company," Senior Game Designer Damien Monhier said. "Through sex we have shown that this is a person who Geralt would be compelled to chase after if she went missing."


Now, a lot of us have talked at length about sexism in video games, and Anita Sarkeesian's Tropes in Video Game series. But this jumped out at me - it's not often that you get a game studio explicitly saying that they are using sex to establish a relationship so that a male character would feel compelled to go after a female character if she went missing. This is so common in games, but it's usually ignored or glossed over - this developer is outright saying it.

Sex is the quickest way to establish a meaningful relationship between characters, Monhier explained, and to justify Geralt's pursuit of Yennefer. "We couldn't just tell you to go find someone you don't know or care about," he said. "It wouldn't work."

Basically, "we need sex so that we can kidnap the female love interest to develop the male characters story arc". At least they are being explicit about it? Talk about admitting you have lazy writing! The other games have been pretty bad for this (thought they do have some really kick ass women characters, it's over shadowed by the misogyny in the rest of the game) - so I wasn't planning on buying it. That was reinforced when the launch trailer showed the obligatory brothel scene with the male lead covered in nearly naked women. And then this - just makes it pretty clear that they don't give a crap about their (potential) women customers, or non straight men.

I love sex and romance in video games - I really do. But I need them to be done well, and I need the developers and the story to respect both parties and not just use it as a cheap throw-away to force a player to give a damn about some character. This is just proof (as if we needed more) that the gaming industry has a long ways to go.

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