Scholars and professionals from all over the world, across experience levels and the gender and sexuality spectrum, share experiences and analysis of romance and sexuality in video games.

Whether discussing casual sex in the Star Wars universe; analyzing various Otome games; examining "the gaze" in various games; player romance behavior in games; or exploring the ethical ramifications of sexuality in virtual reality and other emerging technologies, this book discusses what players want in video game romance, and how developers can best deliver it.

Key Features:

  • Examines the past, present, and future of romance in single-player, role-playing games
  • Discusses common presentations of romance in single-player, role-playing games— both in the category and game mechanics that drive romance
  • Discusses research on how players define a satisfying game romance and what specific steps narrative designers can take to design satisfying games
  • Explains the notion of the empathic game and explores its importance in relation to romance in game design

section I|76 pages

Representations of Gender and Sexuality

chapter 1|34 pages

Sexualization, Shirtlessness, and Smoldering Gazes

Desire and the Male Character
ByMichelle Clough

chapter 2|22 pages

Making Love Not War

Female Power and the Emotional Labor of Peace in Code: Realize—The Guardian of Rebirth and Princess Arthur
BySarah Christina Ganzon

chapter 3|9 pages

Love on the Farm—Romance and Marriage in Stardew Valley

ByAmanda Lange

chapter 4|8 pages

From Smoldering Justicar to Blue-Skinned Space Babe

Asari Sexuality in Mass Effect
ByAlexandra M. Lucas

section II|146 pages

Romance and Sexuality in Game Design

chapter 5|14 pages

Visualizing Data for Pleasure

Heather Kelley on Game Design, Sexuality, and User Interfaces
ByTeddy Pozo

chapter 6|13 pages

Intimate Games

Facing Our Inner Predators
BySabine Harrer

chapter 7|30 pages

It's Time for This Jedi to Get Laid

Casual Romance in Star Wars: The Old Republic
ByJessica Sliwinski

chapter 8|22 pages

Naughty Bytes

The Western Complications of Genitalia in Non-Porn Video Games
ByHeidi McDonald

chapter 9|23 pages

Invitation: Granting Emotional Access through Romantic Choice

ByLeah Miller

chapter 10|40 pages

Designing Video Game Characters for Romantic Attachment

Practical Application and Design Pitfalls
ByJennifer E. Killham, Arden Osthof, Jana Stadeler

section III|41 pages

Otome: Romance and Sexuality in Game Design

chapter 11|20 pages

“Sweet Solutions for Female Gamers”

Cheritz, Korean Otome Games, and Global Otome Game Players
BySarah Christina Ganzon

chapter 12|7 pages

Sadistic Lovers

Exploring Taboos in Otome Games
ByA.M. Cosmos

chapter 13|11 pages

Love Transcends All (Geographical) Boundaries

The Global Lure of Romance Historical Otome Games and the Shinsengumi
ByLucy Morris

section IV|22 pages

The Future of Romance and Sexuality in Games

chapter 14|9 pages

Do Androids Dream of Electric Consent?

ByLuke Dicken

chapter 15|10 pages

Digital Love

Future Love—VR and the Future of Human Relationships and Sexuality
ByMoth Loths