Seduce Me is a new adult interactive / erotic strategy game. Initially I, and many others, heard about it when Steam pulled it from the greenlight section due to its adult content. The issue is, and continues to be that sexuality is treated as more damaging than violent media, despite the obviousness that violence is destructive and sex can be something tender and warm.
Instantly I wanted to know more, and I preordered it as soon as it was available.
It’s been called sexist, and as a woman, and a feminist, after playing (and failing) a few times, I just have to frown at that.
The game is set in Petra’s house. She’s a rich socialite with a huge mansion built into the mountains overlooking the ocean. She has many female friends that spend time there, and over the course of your stay, you’re allowed to mingle with the guests, flirt, strike up intimate conversation, and eventually sleep with them (if you do well enough!)
The women hold all of the power. If you lose enough ‘popularity points’, you will be told to leave. You can lose popularity points by being rude and refusing small talk with a guest, by having an intimate conversation with too many women and causing one of them to get jealous, or by doing poorly in the mini games.
The most interesting aspect, however, is that you don’t just lose the minigames by failing. The goal isn’t to ‘beat’ the women at the games, but to be within an acceptable range. For example, in the flirting game, you want to stay at about the same pace as the other woman. Come on too strong and you fail, but if you’re too passive, she’s not interested either. Different women have different tastes – a desire to ‘win’ or ‘lose’ the games depending, but most people are happiest if you’re on par with them.
These aren’t women that are just going to sleep with anyone. They’re women who have a connection and a bond, who have their own secrets and fetishes and kinks, with standards and and who each have a personality. Considering that the game doesn’t have a huge load of plot, it might seem, on the surface, to make these women one dimensional, but I don’t feel they are.
I found myself curious about the characters and their stories, and wanted to hear more about their discovery of the private sides of themselves.
Just because they are women in sexual situations doesn’t inherently make it sexist, and I wonder if the gaming media has swung the pendulum too far in the other direction. They’re trying so hard to make gaming inclusive to women and make us feel more comfortable that they’re too quick to jump on everything as being offensive.
We can find women and men sexy, and want to see them in sexual scenarios and in revealing clothing without it being sexist. I don’t want games to be void of sex just because someone will be offended – and someone will be. Sex is such a personal topic that no matter how gingerly and sensitively the topic is portrayed, there will always be someone who thinks it’s too gratuitous, too objectified, too sexist.
We all have our line, but for me, Seduce Me (so far – I haven’t finished yet!) falls firmly in the camp of ‘empowered women in control of their sexuality and their sex life, horray!’
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