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But as romantic options continue to grow in gaming, the way we think about love and romance in mass media is still just as troubled as ever.And when romantic plotlines in video gaming prey on the unrealistic expectations we have about dating, then they do a disservice to anyone who ever wanted to build a healthy romantic relationship.The world is yours, so it’s time to mess things up for a bit before going to bed for the night.But escapism isn’t just about killing as many police officers as possible and then hiding away in a beat-up sedan.Of course, what’s so strange about Kawakami’s romantic storyline is that it flies in the face of everything that defines Persona 5.The game begins with a volleyball coach named Suguru Kamoshida targeting the Phantom Thieves after the group discovers he is sexually assaulting female volleyball players.It’s also about escaping from everyday life with fictional characters. And these days, romance is more immersive than it has ever been before in gaming. Hook up with your homeroom teacher who also works as a maid? And more genres are tackling romantic plotlines, too.
“There must be negative interactions that challenge the couple or prospective couple to grow and see both themselves and each other in new ways." Instead, Mass Effect depicts romance as something that the player can “win” by searching for guides and inputting the right responses when required.Georgina Young, a games journalist who lives in Japan, says Persona 5 "certainly bends the rules" with some of its romantic relationships.For one, she can't see the game's various adult women actually hooking up with the teenage player character.Sex is treated as just a reward, games journalist and developer Emma Kidwell tells me, which breaks the immersion.Kidwell has written extensively about Mass Effect’s romantic plotlines in the past for Polygon by ranking them from worst to best.