The skinny on digital skin and game marketing

Sex in Video Games Conference.Oh boy — there’s no wireless Internet access in the conference room, explaining the lack of posts around here. For now, a few blurbs about what’s been going on, until I get a chance to review some of my notes:

Dave Taylor just gave a presentation on the future of technology and sex, and I gotta say, the future looks bright, based on the images and clips shown during his lecture. Drool-inducing depictions of graphically rendered bodies filled the screen as he spoke. I mean, some were really hot, with attendees falling silent for brief moments as they watched.

“There’s a lot of awesome skin simulation technology going on,” said Taylor, who also outlined the latest strides as far as motion capture technology.

This morning, Brenda Brathwaite gave an engaging and lively talk that amounted to a veritable State of the Sex in Video Games address. Brathwaite said media attention given to simulated sex lately has been a plus for the industry as a whole. “We’ve had lots of press coverage. All positive press coverage. It’s been a great year for that,” she said.

She also dished out some marketing advice to the crowd, which totaled about 100 or more people and included game developers and other content creators, businesspeople in the field, and folks from the adult entertainment industry. Brathwaite said if nookie is played up too big as far as marketing and distribution aimed at the mainstream, it’ll backfire. “If you sensationalize it (sex), you can kiss big-box stores goodbye,” she said.

Two games that include adult content yet have been successful in mainstream marketing because the sex is not magnified are God of War, and The Sims 2, Brathwaite said.

However, if sex is the main or sole aspect of a video or computer game, then a good idea might be to tailor the marketing and distribution campaign accordingly, Brathwaite said. “Instead of selling the way games are traditionally sold, sell the way porn is traditionally sold,” she said.

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