I kissed an NPC, and I liked it: Love and sexuality in digital games
In this paper we will discuss the presence of love and sexuality in digital games (from ‘80s amateur porn games to the newest released VR ludo-erotic entertainment), both as representation and as experienced simulation. By way of a semiotic framework, we will analyze the following key features that produce the meaning of love and sexuality (L&S from now on) in these texts: the possibility of semantic manipulation, intersubjective enunciation, a cognitive sensibility created through a ratio, and the presence of an economy of meaning. Furthermore, we will look not only at what these games represent and allow players to do, but also at players’ strategies and actions that give love and sex meaning in these games. Finally, this work will allow us to highlight not only the ideological and socio-cultural relevance of love and sex in digital games, but also the limits of a classical semiotic approach to this kind of problem, and consequently to make a general theoretical reflection in the conclusion.
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