NSFW: A Sorceress in the Centerfold -- The Changing Face of Video Game Sexuality
- By: CM Boots-Faubert
- Posted 9th May 2011
Unless you have been ignoring the gaming news over the course of the past week you are likely aware of the controversy brewing among fans of the RPG series The Witcher, as it relates to the surprise publicity appearance of game star and central character Triss Merigold, who seems to be everywhere in advance of the May 17th release of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings , the sequel to The Witcher , the game that established the series.
Triss Merigold of Maribor is a sorceress known for her magnificent mane of red hair and her athletic build -- well, that and the fact that she is a powerful mage who happens to be allergic to magic, a skilled healer, a friend of Geralt and Yennefer, and -- oh yeah -- did we mention Playboy Cover Model and Centerfold? Yah, that too.
As the publicity machine ramps up for the release of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings all of the stars are expected to do their part to help promote the game -- if it were a movie perhaps they would be on Letterman or The Tonight Show, but as it is a video game, probably not. Still, her appearance -- nude -- in Playboy is not as unusual or startling a move as you might think -- in fact Triss is simply the most recent video game star to make that move, as more than a few broke trail on that path in the past.
"Gaming Grows Up"
The October 2004 issue of Playboy contained a five-page feature piece entitled "Gaming Grows Up" that featured a topless image of half-vampire half-human BloodRayne, a full-frontal, two-page foldout of Luba Licious who played a compelling role in the cult classic Leisure Suit Larry , offering their charms to the readers of what has since been branded Playboy's annual 'pixel-torial' and that, understandably, added impact to the articles that ran around it, which were game previews for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas , Need for Speed: Underground 2 , and Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault .
BloodRayne and Luba were joined by Tala, from Darkwatch , Daisy from Rumble Roses , Mileena, from the Mortal Kombat , Red Ninja's Kurenai, and Ayane from Dead or Alive: Ultimate but, understandably, got most of the attention because of their willingness to bare all about their feelings for the upcoming games.
BloodRayne in her pioneering appearance in Playboy Magazine helped to establish it as a legitimate form of expression for A-List Video Game Starlets to promote the craft and their games.
They started a trend it seems, and not just for B-List stars, as more than a few A-Lister's have dropped the towel between the covers of what is arguably the most cerebral of magazines targeted at gentlemen gamers.
A year later NYPD Detective Carla Valenti's (Indigo Prophecy ) joined the club, as did Cassidy Sharp (Darkwatch ), member of the Fourth Estate Alexa (50 Cent: Bulletproof ), and Oracle from God of War also made the pages, but it was Faerie Queen from Playboy The Mansion Private Party that got most of the attention that year.
Just two short years after BloodRayne shoved opened the door... Window? Whatever -- Sarah Morrison from Tabula Rasa joined the exclusive club, as did Lida and Persephone from God of War II , Alica Claus from Bullet Witch , Dr. Jasmine Lin from TimeShift , and our all-time favorite agent-provocateur, Enrica Villablanca from Splinter Cell: Double Agent .