IGN has cranked out a three-page feature that looks back at some of the sexual content we were subjected to in video games this year, and as you might have guessed, Fallout: New Vegas and Mass Effect 2 were both given a quick write-up. Subsequent quotes:
Fallout: New Vegas is a celebration of sexual possibility, often at its most exploitive. You can unlock perks that allow you to seduce either men or women, steal a man's girlfriend, and coerce a variety of humans and mutants into prostitution. One of these suggested candidates is a robot left in an abandoned research facility. You can commission a special holotape to override the robot's normal operating procedure, which turns it into a sexbot capable of satisfying those with a more peculiar interest in mechanical intimacy. After reprogramming the sexbot and restoring its power you're given the option to test the machine out for yourself. If you choose this option (as I eagerly did) you'll hear a few robotic noises and see a short fade to black, which leaves frustratingly unanswered the question of how one has sex with a robot.
Even with that lingering unknown, this moment is a reminder of the absurd reach of human sexual imagination. If you think it sounds a little too ridiculous, spare a thought for 'Zoltan' a Georgia man who built his own robotic sex doll and married her. "Having a relationship with a computer makes it feel way more real than with just a doll," he told Gizmodo's Addy Dugdale in 2008. "You get all excited first and you wonder if she will say yes. The first time with her I also wondered if this was even possible. And then sweet release. I am technosexual and proud of it."
There has long been a wispily defined connection between authority and attraction. Especially common among men, there is a sense that having some position of power entitles one to more sexual liberties than a person in a lower tax bracket or with a less important Rolodex. Like the first game, Mass Effect 2's sexual sensibilities have the sweet stink of a soap opera. Sexual tension heaves beneath taut space corsets and causes sulking glances to be held a second longer than they otherwise should have been. The culmination of successfully navigating a dialogue tree is a short and coy cutscene heavy on thigh and flank close-ups.
I find myself completely incapable of winning sex in the Mass Effect universe, even during sessions when I set out to accomplish only that objective. In the sequel I wanted nothing more than to conjoin with Kelly Chambers, my handy subordinate on the Normandy's main deck. She was optimistic, smart, seemed freckly, and didn't have tentacles. There was no one whose unitard wicking I wanted more to remove, and yet I failed again and again with Kelly. Every time I hoped to press my luck with a scamp-ish response she clammed up, a recurring cause of intense space frustration. I had hoped that, as a last resort, I could exploit my role as her boss to ignite her desire for me, but even this last manipulation foundered on her blank stare. "Was there something else you wanted, Commander Shepard?"