Passion and Play : A Guide to Designing Sexual Content in Games book cover
1st Edition

Passion and Play
A Guide to Designing Sexual Content in Games

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after April 14, 2022
ISBN 9780367404659
April 14, 2022 Forthcoming by CRC Press
400 Pages 171 Color & 1 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Hoping to add some steam and sex to your next game? Then this book is for you. This practical guide provides you with the foundational tools needed to write, design, and create healthy sexual content in video games in ways that are narratively compelling, varied, and hot! Challenging assumptions that sex in games is superfluous, exploitative, or only of interest to straight guys, the book encourages designers to create meaningful, enjoyable sexual content for all audiences.

Using examples from well-known AAA games (and some stand-out indie content!) each chapter provides a framework to guide game writers, designers, and developers through the steps of creating and executing sexual content in their games - from early concept, to setting it up in larger game narrative, and finally to executing specific sexual scenes and sequences. It also lays out a host of details and considerations that, while easily missed or forgotten, can have a major impact on the quality or theme of the scene.

Offering expert insight and ideas for creating sex scenes in games, the book is vital reading for game designers, writers, and narrative designers who are interested in making games with sexual content. It will also appeal to artists, cutscene directors, audio engineers, composers, and programmers working on these games – or really, any game developer with an interest in the topic!

Table of Contents


Part 1: Sex, games, and culture

Chapter 1 - What This Book Is (And Isn’t)

Chapter 2 - The Myths and "Myths" of Video Game Sex

Chapter 3 - Challenges Part 1: Censorship and Storefronts (with Kris Wise)

Chapter 4 - Challenges Part 2: The Terrors of Tech

Part 2: Sex and pre-production

Chapter 5 - The Narrative Functions of Sex Scenes (And Why/Why Not to Have Them)

Chapter 6 - Considering Your Thirsty Audience: Diverse Desires vs Target Demographics

Chapter 7 - The Trifecta of Sexual Approach and Aesthetic

Chapter 8 - Teamwork Makes the Dream Work! (by Souha Al-Samkari)

Part 3: Sex in the larger game structure

Chapter 9 - Characters and Sex

Chapter 10 - Sex and the Three Act Structure (Part 1)

Chapter 11 - Kindness Coins and the Chemistry Casino

Chapter 12 - Sex in Quest Design

Part 4: The Craft of Sex Scenes

Chapter 13 - Queer Sex in Games (with Kris Wise, Monica Fan, Aubrey Jane Scott, Antonin Fusco)

Chapter 14 - Initiating Sex With Branching Choices

Chapter 15 - Consent in Video Game Sex

Chapter 16 - Building Anticip…ation! Sex Scenes and the Four Types of Tension

Chapter 17 - Bringing to a Climax (Sex and the Three Act Structure Part 2)

Chapter 18 - Sex Cutscene Direction and Design: An Interview with Ashley Ruhl

Chapter 19 - Fade to Black vs Showing the Sex

Chapter 20 - Coming to Grips with Gaze in Sex Scenes

Chapter 21 - Setting the Sex Scene! Sex and Environment Design

Chapter 22 - "Aural Sex" and Audio (with Souha Al-Samkari)

Chapter 23 - Tender Talk and Naughty Narration: Dialogue and Sex

Chapter 24 - Sex and Game Design Part 1: Branching Choices, Interactivity and Agency

Chapter 25 - Sex and Game Design Part 2: Mechanics and Verbs (with Sharang Biswas)

Chapter 26 - The Aftermath of Sex Scenes




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Michelle Clough is a freelance game writer, editor, and narrative designer, as well as partner in the game narrative co-op, Talespinners. She is also co-founder of the IGDA Romance and Sexuality Special Interest Group and has been speaking at GDC since 2014 on topics related to sex, sex appeal, and sexuality in video games.