Surely, a small group of people out there would love an added sex component in their online worlds. It may even big a relatively big group that would welcome such a change. But sex doesn’t now, and doubtful will in the near future, play any significant role in online games. And yes, a huge reason for this lack of sexuality in online games is the substantial player base that would be missed by games that introduce sex. To reference an earlier class post on this, 25% of all MMO players are teenagers. That is a huge amount of subscriptions being lost just to add some extracurricular scenes. However, perhaps equally important to the number of players who would be lost to the addition of sexuality is the number of players who, while they would welcome the addition, will be playing regardless.
Think about it, many of players who are 18 and older wouldn’t really have a serious qualm with games adding sex. Many would even be pleased by the added variety that this could bring. It opens up many possibilities including in game relationships, quest tracks involving building these relationships, and at the simplest level, an opportunity to do something other than kill and avoid nosey hobbits. To be quite blunt about it, sex sells and could do so in an online game. Yet because online games have so many other components and things to keep players busy, the lack of sex flies under the radar. These same players who would welcome the addition of a sexual component are likely playing regardless, enamored with either the violence or storyline aspects that these games have in spades. So adding sex would lose a lot of players, but it also would gain very few.
Even games that don’t market sex have been exposed to have naughty moments. I remember when I first played the Sims (yes, I was once a teenage girl who loved to play with virtual dolls), a friend told me that u could move the shower before your character entered and they still shower. Childish as this was, it makes me smile looking back to see that even a game so innocent could be exposed if you throw your mind into the gutter and think hard enough. Needless to say, I soon realized that the same trick worked for the heart-shaped bed…
Let’s be honest, in this modern day and age, sex will be found somewhere. Even if it doesn’t turn up by accident in newer online games, it doesn’t mean that the people playing these games can’t hide the game window and access their share of sexual content within seconds. There just isn’t a large enough demand for it in the online gaming world for it to make sense as an installation.