There is no sex in online narrative games, for a simple reason that has been staring us in the face for the whole semester thus far. Games, contrary to what Jesper Juul would argue, are not real. Sex, on the other hand, is a natural phenomenon that is very real. Sex involves touching, feeling, and some other things, all of which cannot be emulated by any online narrative games. But while it is true that sex itself does not exist in online narrative games, this does not necessarily mean that sexual concepts are also not present. Have you ever seen a Female Night Elf dance in World of Warcraft? If yes, then I think no further explanation is required.
It is safe to conclude that “Sex” is not present in online narrative games, but there certainly are subliminal traces of it. Video game publishers choose not to include sex in their online narratives because gamers, like the vast majority of people, would gain more pleasure doing it IRL than in a game. Essentially my argument is that since the appeal of sex is from doing rather than seeing or reading about it on a computer screen, game designers realize that integrating sex into their game would be unnecessary, not to mention weird, for lack of a better word.
Having sex in video games would weaken those qualities that make narratives so interesting and entertaining to play. Imagine there was a quest in LOTRO that required you to slay the village pimp. That would be funny at first but it would not augment to the quality of the game. In fact, it would take away from the credibility of the game’s narrative story line. At any rate, I highly doubt that games would draw in more customers if there were sex within the narrative, the logic being that people play games to enjoy the imaginary world that the narrative creates, not for sex. There’s a whole other world for that kind of stuff called porn, but let’s stay clear of that subject, although it may be too late. As a closing point, I would also argue that sex is not included in online narratives because it would simply be difficult to do so, without making the game stop looking like one.