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This post came from MUD-Dev, where we were discussing
violence in online games.
Chat is mostly about sex. ;)
Seriously, though, practically any form of entertainment is about sex and violence, if you want to look at basic building blocks. It's just they are contextualized into love, yearning, jealousy, pride, coming of age, patriotism, whatever.
If you took out all the sex and all the violence, you wouldn't have very many movies, books, or TV shows.
While we're bemoaning the lack of maturity in the field, we need not to miss the forest for the trees. It's not too much sex and violence that is the problem. It's that it's shallow sex and violence. This is why we decry casual PKing, why we snicker at puerile tinysex logs. And why we get excited to hear of the possibility for meaningful PvP or get defensive about the "reality" of online relationships.
If we want to go on a crusade to fix something, how about we fix the fact that your average cartoon does a better job at portraying the human condition than our games do?
Well, even most TV shows which are predicated on sex and violence have more to them than that. I think that generally speaking, the thing that people seem to want in the entertainment is some degree of context. We value a hero all the more because, say, he's working through a painful relationship, and proves his desire to keep it alive by engaging in the violent behavior (Die Hard), for example. We like contextualized sex and violence.
Most sex in muds is nicely contextualized. Most violence isn't.
And for what it's worth, I think competitive sports is probably the primary entertainment area where we accept and enjoy contextualized, sublimated violence.