The Heavy Rain Shower Scene: Too Far or Not Far Enough?
With a media circus at the coattails of every mention of the word sex in video games, did Quantic Dream know what they were getting themselves into by including a fully nude shower scene in Heavy Rain? Check out this article to see the video and decide for yourself.
Before the PS3 itself was released Heavy Rain was touted by its developers as a "dark film noir thriller with mature themes". With media fiascoes like the San Andreas' Hot Coffee Mod and Mass Effect's Sex Scene serving as precedents, was Quantic Dream asking for trouble when they included a scene in which one of the four main characters strips down completely nude for a shower, and did Sony manage to (figuratively) cover their ass when they hyped the game as an "Adult Thriller"?
In the Heavy Rain shower scene, the player controls -- and is introduced to -- Madison Page, one of the four main characters and a sufferer of insomnia. Unable to sleep, the player guides her through a series of The Sims-like actions in her underwear: checking her e-mail, making coffee, toggling her radio, and other tasks that are relatively mundane for a video game. As if this weren't heaven enough for voyeurs, the player also brings her into her bathroom where she is able to use the toilet, wash her hands and face, and strip down completely naked for a hot shower with all but her genitalia completely visible. Quick time events are present in her undressing, the shower itself and her drying, making this the most interactive shower scene ever in a major video game.
Public Reaction, or Lack Thereof
Despite showing more (and with far greater detail) than any of the games before it, Heavy Rain failed to generate much of a controversy at all, both pre- and post-release. While it would nice to think that this is a sign that society is warming up to mature content in mature-rated games, the absence of any true sexual content aside from girl parts makes this an uneven comparison. There's also a chance that the scene would have stirred up just a tad more chaos had they not made the decision to place foreground objects in front of the character's genitalia, providing some self-censorship.
Does this mean we'll see more liberal decisions in future games with less political attacks as an expected consequence? Was Heavy Rain able to dodge a bullet because previous games were able to soften the impact? It's hard to say, but it can certainly be deduced that what's become acceptable in video games has seen, at the very least, a modest incline over the last decade.
It is also likely that since the Heavy Rain shower scene was neither hidden nor buried removed some of the shock value from it. Perhaps this is evidence that the populace is more understanding of mature content when it is fully disclosed.
Watch the Uncensored (and naturally, NOT SAFE FOR WORK) Shower Scene Yourself
If you don't own the game or are simply curious as to what the scene contains, you can view it in its entirety by clicking the hyper link below. Just be aware that its contents are definitely Not Safe for Work.
Again, this link contains video of the Heavy Rain shower scene -- NOT SAFE FOR WORK!