With the release of House Party onto Steam this week, Steam hosts it’s first game purely based on sex with interactive sex scenes. Sure The Witcher series has plenty of sex, but at the same time the game was more focused on monster slaying and the such. There’s also those anime visual novel things which tend to have +18 Patches, but those patches aren’t installed through Steam.
House Party on the other hand has only one objective, to get laid. Yes I have played free Alpha/Beta versions of the game before. If I’m being honest, I don’t think it’s anything special. The writing is really uninteresting and I’d say at best it’s the bare minimum one could consider a game. That being said it is still in early access and things could improve.
I will concede there is some content that may be considered offensive in House Party. For example the player to pull out their penis and masturbate, before ejaculating. It is possible for a player to ejaculate onto one of the characters in the game. To be fair characters do respond negatively to this harassment but I feel it’s worth noting that not all of the content in House Party is consensual. That being said this game is intended for those over the age of 18, who understand that behavior like that is inappropriate.
Sex in gaming itself is not new, starting with Softporn Adventure in 1981. In recent years crowd funding sites and the ease of access to game making tools such as RPG Maker and the Unity engine have allowed many indie developers to make pretty much any game they desire.
The question raised is that is it okay for Steam to sell what are basically porn games? In my opinion yes. I’ve always seen Steam as a market place where one can sell whatever goods they want, from Triple A productions to the latest crappy early access survival game that will never go anywhere.
To me the burden of responsibility to make a good purchase is on the consumer. If you can access Steam’s store, you can most likely look up reviews on Google and Youtube. A consumer who refuses to do any research into what they’re purchasing is basically guaranteeing that they’ll be screwed over.
One might be concerned with underage people seeing inappropriate images of some of these sex games. The store page for House Party features no offensive material, only the tags and reviews hint at the game’s true nature. On top of that, parents themselves should have responsibility over what content kids consume on the internet.
Finally, Steam hosts media with plenty of violence and other adult themes. I don’t really feel sex should be off the list. I mean what’s worse, a game where you try to have sex or a game where you kill millions of people from Badguyistan?
Overall I honestly don’t think House Party’s release will be that big of a deal. There are much easier ways to access explicit material on the internet. The game itself has much staying power unless significant improvements are made. Steam should be allowed to sell whatever is seen fit, it is up to the consumer to do their research.