Saturday, 5 November 2016

Playstation VR + Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 = Controversey?

If you've read a fair few of my posts on this blog then you'll probably be able to tell from the tone and the subjects I tend to cover/enthuse about that I don't mind a bit of harmless smut or cheeky content in games. As such, it's no shocker that I admit to enjoying Tecmo's Dead or Alive Xtreme series of spin-offs. It's not a series that I would recommend to people or even publicise that I have on the shelf but I see nothing wrong with a bit of escapism in the form of an idyllic beach getaway + pretty girls in provocative swimwear. It's a sub-series that pushes the boundaries of acceptability for many here in the West and it certainly pushes the buttons of those shouting loudly about sexism. The latter is a subject for another time owing to how much a blogger could write about it but in short, I personally do not see a problem with the likes of DOAX as long as the consumer a) doesn't take it too seriously and b) doesn't allow it to warp or alter their expectations of women in real-life.

Team Ninja love to keep pushing those boundaries however and a recent video demonstration for DOAX3's Playstation VR mode has got some people in a twist. I'll put the video below but for obvious reasons, it's very NSFW so bear that in mind before continuing...

Well...let's just hope that the Daily Mail doesn't get wind of this! VR support for Xtreme 3 had been talked about for a long time prior to this video and I always expected that Team Ninja would outrage many with what they eventually produced but even I didn't fully expect this. It's not that it surprises me as such but...yeah. The standard game is not getting a release over here in the West anyway so you can bet your life savings that this VR mode will remain firmly in Japan - the place where the least amount of eyebrows will be raised.

So what do I think about this? Bearing in mind that I'm a big fan of Japanese culture and the looser standards of what is and isn't acceptable when it comes to dirty games/risque content, I still didn't really like what I saw in this video. First of all, if somebody wants to play this game and touch up virtual girlies then that's none of my business and they can get on with it as far as I'm concerned so I'm not criticising this from a moral viewpoint. Well, not entirely anyway. The fact that Kasumi seems to really dislike what's going on and yet the player is (I presume) encouraged to continue groping her isn't exactly something to be proud of partaking in. It would make me uncomfortable I think and whether they are digital girls or not isn't the point; it's just how I suspect I'd feel with the VR headset on.

No, my main issue with all of this is that if you are playing this game/special mode/whatever it is then you must be short of real women in your life or else why would you ever want to do this? Playing the regular DOAX is one thing. Heck, I play it and collect what might be considered sexualised figurines but this is interaction and it ties into one of my other more general misgivings about VR and how easy it would be to become obsessed with VR realities rather than trying to face the real world.

I don't want to go and label this sort of thing as "sad" (since I'm a self-confessed nerd) but when I watched the above video and saw the guy 'playing' the game, it just made me think "Damn, I don't want to watch this anymore". It was awkward and difficult to observe. Don't get me wrong, I think I'd definitely give this DOAX VR thing a go but more to see how realistic and believable an experience it is. My vision for what it would be was perhaps being able to walk around the island and the beaches, watch the volleyball games or just have a VR version of the regular game's camera mode. I'd have to draw the line at the whole touching thing. It feels up there with those seedy vending machines, also in Japan.

I don't know...complaining about this but also enjoying the regular Xtreme games might sound like double standards from me. Hell, I've typed this while a figure of Street Fighter's Cammy stands on my desk with her famous butt on show. Maybe I'm just talking a load of shite but the truth is, there is just something about what they have done here with this VR mode that I feel is wrong on a certain level. I'm all for what DOAX is but there is a line that even I don't want to cross and this thing is hovering around that line.

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