Virtual Boundaries: Consent in Video Games
Consent in video games is not a new topic. Every game, to a greater or lesser degree, engages in negotiation with its player. Agency, that most vaunted of concepts, usually implies a situation where the player is given space to play the games in a way that suits them, to exist within the gameworld on their own terms. Some games, especially those that involve relationship building, demand that you adhere to certain standards of behaviour if you want certain characters to like you, but that is not true consent, and certainly not when the player always has the option to reload and quit out. There are also games that explore consent more literally. Robert Yang touches on much of this in the essay that he wrote on his game, Hurt Me Plenty, which discusses the ways in which consent is represented in games and ways in which that representation could be made more complex.