Romance, why does everyone hate it nowadays?

So, the other day I listened to some people from Quakecon talking about the things that will be in Fallout 4. I tried to not spoil myself to much but I needed to see if the game actually would lack Skills, it seems that it did but this is not about that. In that particular video, I heard them saying that it would include romance. Romance in a Bethesda game!? I got really giddy at first but then I thought about their previous attempt at “romance” and prayed to anything that a medallion wouldn’t be that romance in Fallout 4 too.

A few days prior to that, I heard the ”news” that Pillars of Eternity actually lacks romance and I fell off my chair. How can a game that is in spirit a follower to Baldur’s Gate, Planescape: Tourment and Fallout not have romance as its main course?

And as if that wasn’t enough, I heard that in the forum threads talking about this romance issues on the Pillars of Eternity site got way out of hand, that people against this were so foulmouthed and violent about it. Why?

How can something so universal in our own world spark such hatred online to games that, in my own opinion, would fare way better if they incorporated it? You don’t have to choose the road that leads you to those decisions, they aren’t really pushed into your face. They are there to give the characters depth and feel. Why have romance today been so frowned upon?

As I thought more about it, it dawned on me that movies more or less lacks this as well. When were the last time I saw a proper romance in new movies? Even the sex part of movies have been seen less and less, not that it alone would make the movie better.

Are you for or against romance in games? Or in media in general?

8 responses to “Romance, why does everyone hate it nowadays?

  1. Sadly these days Romance/Sex is scene as so taboo. I even read an article the other day that said the occurence of sex IRL has been getting less and less itself even! (The validity of this Article seemed to be from a controlled test, so I guess it could be considered valued)

    From the world of ‘sexism’ and how ‘men objectify women’ becoming stronger and stronger as the days pass, I guess its started to affect games too. While Romance I highly enjoy in games, when done right, it seems for the sacrifice of sexual scenes and romantic scenes we’re seeing more female protagonists in games. Don’t get me wrong, I support this, but it seems a contrasting value that while sex/romance in games goes down, more and more female protagonists (or the option to play as one) are popping up.

    You can see this IRL too. More and more the idea of sex is becoming something of a taboo subject in the -wrong- way. While sex always has been something private, in most areas of the world, now it seems almost wrong to even speak of it between personal parties.

    Games get the brunt of this, because parents don’t want their kids playing games with ‘over the top’ sexualised themes and romantic values. Why? Because they want to shelter their kids from the world. Which is a stupid idea. Games are there for more then just enjoying, but you can learn some valuable lessons from them. Sex/Romance shouldn’t be feared for the younger audience, it should be taught respectively and morally. When did humanity want to shelter itself so much that when the time finally comes, even the natural feeling of sex is reproachful? It’s an instinct, a human reproductive response. Why should something so natural, be so shunned.

    Of course, sheltering can be good in some ways, but definitely not in Romance. Kids nowadays do have a bit of a skewered view of it, believing to be ‘in love’ from the ages between 10-16. While yes it is possible, for the maturer of their age group, it’s a silly notion for everyone with a bf/gf at that age to spout about how they -LOVE- them. Fancy, admire, have feelings for, yes. But actual -love- is a much more difficult, strong emotion that in some games can be perceived beautifully!

    I just feel that while the older generation shun and believe the internet to be a place of vile, sexualised people, they are now turning to try and do it to video games too. Any reason to downtalk a ‘free society’ of thinkers that just want to…Yes, you guessed it, HAVE FUN. PLAY GAMES. That’s the entire point of a video game, to have fun, and to EXPERIENCE it. Not to run and hide when said male characters starts getting freaky with said female character: It’s like people are afraid of sex.

    – What was the first video game you encountered Romance in? And how did you feel it may have differed to RL love?

    – Do you feel sex nowadays is either covered too much, too little, or just shoved in a silly way?

    – If you could tell the Gaming/Internet Community one line, and for them to stick with it, what would it be?

    – Romance in video games: Do you feel it should just be between the male and female, or maybe a family should evolve from it over the course of the game/sequels?

    Interesting post, and I apologise for my lengthy response heh. Game on!


    • The first games I played that had romance, that I can think of, were Jade Empire for PC and Fahrenheit for Xbox, I was ecstatic! It felt real as it would have been IRL, but most well done romances in game are more vulnerable and out there, things that I might not had dared to do IRL.

      I would say that sex nowadays is forced just for the sake of showing off the actor/actress, make a silly/fun scene or to prolong a story more than showing deeper connections between characters.

      Romance for the horde! Haha.

      I’d say that it depends on the game, if it should just be a couple or if it should be a family. Heavy Rain and such games for example fits with a family while say a game like Baldur’s Gate would not. It all depends on the world and the state that the characters are in I would say.



      • Isn’t Fahrenheit getting a HD Upgrade, or already has, recently? Might be a nice little nostalgia trip for you to revisit 🙂

        Yeah. All the ‘sexy’ actresses, which for the most part aren’t even sexy, just false and so plastic. Barely anything ‘natural’ on them, heh. Not sexy in any way, and they look so awkward doing it. The most awkward romance scene I’ve ever seen was just the small kissing scene in Jumper. My God the awkwardness between Actor and Actress made me cringe hard…

        Haha 😛 Nice line!

        Yeah. Heavy Rain though I felt more was Romance scene just for the new play style of the button pressing during it and such, and the decision, but it was fun either way. Yeah I guess Romance in a game like Fallout would be less family orientated, because bringing in a kid into that world isn’t exactly good, or even safe for both parent and child.


  2. Ugh, for such a great game the Pillars of Eternity forums were a vile place. I mentioned being disappointed by lack of romance in the game on Twitter and I had strangers (who did not follow me) responding negatively to me.

    I like romance in games, it’s just another way to connect with the characters. The romances in Bioware games in particular are great, but I also appreciate the more subtle romance of Planescape: Torment. Honestly, once I played PoE I didn’t miss it that much, but I don’t understand the opposition to even including it in the game. It would be optional.


  3. I think there might be some reasons why people feel such hate against it.

    Remember I am making general statements here, lots of generalization that will not be true for everyone.

    But I think some of those being so foul-mouthed about it might feel they are lacking in the romance-deparement themselves in their real life and therefore doesn’t want it to be “rubbed in their faces”.

    You also have the parents that doesn’t want their kids to be exposed to “smut” even if the kids should not play some of these games they riot against it because it has some kind of romance or sex scenes.

    I would say that a major part of what you’re pointing out, that our films are lacking romance or sex now a days is also a bit that people prefer to see large action scenes and explosions, it’s easier to turn off your brain when watching that.

    I also think that the fact that the majority of films and games are made in USA makes a difference as well. They have a history of seeing sex, nudity and romance (especially between the same sexes) as something that is worse than violence.

    Me personally I am for romance in games and media in general. As long as it isn’t forced and it fits. Are a lot of films were the sex scenes in them feel like they didn’t fit in, that they were added just for some “eye-candy”.

    I think this is something important that you’re pointing out here, we have moving into a more PC society and it will kill free though, free expression and arts in all kinds if we do not watch out.

    Excellent post!


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