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Microsoft Puts the Kibosh On Kinect Sex Game Plans

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the losing-battle dept.

Input Devices 419

theodp writes "Microsoft's Kinect has been out for less than two months and already there's an adult company looking to produce a 3-D sex game for the Xbox 360 console. But Microsoft immediately shot down any speculation that the game will pass the certification process. 'This isn't the first example of a technology being used in ways not intended by its manufacturer, and it won't be the last,' a Microsoft spokesman said in a statement. 'Microsoft did not authorize or license its technology for this use. Xbox is a family friendly games and entertainment console and does not allow Adults Only content to be certified for use on its platform, and would not condone this type of game for Kinect.'"

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419 comments

Obligatory (1, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34622684)

Fuck you, Microsoft. ;-)

Re:Obligatory (5, Insightful)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34622802)

Fuck you, Microsoft. ;-)

Yes, thank you for that wonderful insight, but rather than that, this is again a case that is much bigger than what people are seeing - or bigger than some people want it to be.

Does a company really have the power to decide who and what can be developed for a piece of hardware it makes? Today they are saying no to an adult game. Okay, sure, I wouldn't want my kids getting their hands on this game, but that is up to ME as the parent to monitor and choose.

I thought this was part of American "First Sale" doctrine? As in, once someone buys it, they are allowed to do anything they like with it? I would say a lot of people will agree with this choice today, but what happens when the precident is already set and they start making decisions that folks don't actually like?

Re:Obligatory (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34622820)

They do have that right, via licensing. Developing and selling an XBox game requires a license, and they don't have to give a license to anyone they don't want to.

If you don't like it, buy a different product. Same thing with Apple - I hate Apple and their policies, so I just choose not to buy their products.

Licensing? (5, Insightful)

poptones (653660) | more than 3 years ago | (#34622896)

So does Ford. I can't make and sell a Mustang unless Ford says I can use that name and their parts. But I can buy a fucking Mustang and do what I like with it and resell it. I can also make shit to add onto the Mustang without Ford having right to say what is what. Somehow just because a device now incorporates electronics to provide the core sum of its functionality that right is taken away? Bullshit. It's like Ford being able to sue someone because they used an F150 to flee a ban robbery, or refuse to sell and Aztek to a teen because they might have sex in the back seat.

Re:Licensing? (2)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34622928)

Your post is silly. Microsoft is not stopping you from doing anything you like with your Xbox. You can download their dev kit and develop whatever crazy midget sex game you want.

You can't sell it as an Xbox 360 (TM) game, or distribute their libraries with it unless you get a license.

In other words, try selling an accessory you fashion as a Genuine Ford Mustang Accessory and see how long you can go without being sued.

Re:Licensing? (2)

bickerdyke (670000) | more than 3 years ago | (#34623180)

But thats's exactly the difference!

I'm free to distribute and sell Ford Mustang Accessories as much as I want to, and Ford can't do sh.. against it, while I can't distribute and sell an XBoX game.

Re:Licensing? (1)

insufflate10mg (1711356) | more than 3 years ago | (#34623346)

Would someone with a higher level of intelligence please reply to this particular thread of comments? First I said, "Go Fred!" then "Nevermind, Go Poptones!" then I said, "Wait, Go Fred again!" then I finished with, "Ouch, touche, Bickerdyke!" and "Hey RightSaidFred99, what do you think?"

Re:Licensing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34622956)

I wish they could. I can't imagine my baby finding anything hotter to look at than an Aztek headliner.

Re:Licensing? (2, Informative)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#34622998)

Except that ThriXXX is actually free to make and market this game. It just won't be certified.

Re:Obligatory (4, Insightful)

mug funky (910186) | more than 3 years ago | (#34623076)

If you don't like it, buy a different product.

name one that does the same thing.

this is why i do not like this argument - it implies the free market will average out all the arseholes into niceness, but as soon as companies start following similar "party lines", competition in this respect becomes useless. you're just choosing between walled gardens in slightly different colours and layouts.

Re:Obligatory (2)

imthesponge (621107) | more than 3 years ago | (#34622838)

You are allowed to do anything you want with your console. Microsoft isn't obligated to make it easy for you, however.

Re:Obligatory (5, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#34623022)

You are allowed to do anything you want with your console. Microsoft isn't obligated to make it easy for you, however.

It's funny how their decision-making parallels American television censorship customs.

Want to show a hardcore war-themed game? Ok. Does it involve gruesome up-close violence? That's fine. Showing someone getting their head blown off at point-blank range with a shotgun? That's alright, just make sure it's realistic.

Want to show a pair of breasts? Not cool. Does it involve graphic depictions of sex between consentual adults? Not acceptable. That'd be obscene, and we will use licensing and any other means available to shut you down.

The message? Graphic violence is OK and normal and natural. Sex is obscene, uncommon, not a part of normal adult life, and must not be shown for any reason.

Anybody else think maybe we have this backwards?

Re:Obligatory (2)

atheistmonk (1268392) | more than 3 years ago | (#34623126)

I remember way back when I bought PC Gamer there was a letter to the mag complaining about FEAR's frequent swearing. They agreed with him too. I guess sex and swearing is far more deplorable than the cannibalism, dismemberment and showers of blood in that game..

Re:Obligatory (2)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#34623210)

I remember way back when I bought PC Gamer there was a letter to the mag complaining about FEAR's frequent swearing. They agreed with him too. I guess sex and swearing is far more deplorable than the cannibalism, dismemberment and showers of blood in that game..

Which is completely ridiculous. These games and the ratings systems attached to them are designed for marketing to adults. Do you know any adults who have never before heard swearing?

It reminds me of that Janet Jackson incident during the Super Bowl. One breast was exposed. The FCC had to "crack down" by issuing stiff fines and penalties for the network(s) involved. That was for one breast. It was simple nudity and didn't involve any genitals. No sex was depicted there. The whole thing was a tremendous overreaction.

It's the kind of shit that makes the USA look like a bunch of unreasonable prudes before the rest of the world. This deal with video games isn't so different considering the amount of extreme violence (appropriate for a realistic war game, but quite violent all the same) that seems to be so acceptable.

Re:Obligatory (2)

AnttiV (1805624) | more than 3 years ago | (#34623318)

Mod Parent so up it shows on the moon! That is sooo true, and it doesn't stop at American TV. It's the same kinda cr*p here in Finland. Graphic Violence, Blood, Shooting - probably ok for a 12-14 years old kids (according to TV guidelines). Show a nipple (yes, bare nipple) - instant 16+ rating. Full frontal naked body (no sex, no masturbation, nothing, just whole body) - 18+ rating. I mean, how stupid are we? (funnies thing concerning this I've read - If a man's penis is erect and the angle is more than 45 degrees, you can't show it on television - at all, ever. Now I'm just imagining little old ladies with a degree-rules staring at penises on monitors :D)

Re:Obligatory (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34622876)

I thought this was part of American "First Sale" doctrine? As in, once someone buys it, they are allowed to do anything they like with it? I would say a lot of people will agree with this choice today, but what happens when the precident is already set and they start making decisions that folks don't actually like?

The first sale doctrine completely holds up here. The end user can install whatever they want on their XBox 360. You're completely free to search for the private key for signing the executable, good luck with that.

You can "quote" "Legal" things but you should really get a "lawyer" who spent several years learning "law" every day to inform you of irrelevant or imaginary rights or defences.

Re:Obligatory (1)

ThePromenader (878501) | more than 3 years ago | (#34623074)

Really, a "lawyer" (irony recieved 10-4, over) only studies law to find a (technically) legal way to get ~around~ the very law he is studying (or applying laws to cases normally irrelevant to them). You can look up "lawyer" under "lying without lying" - and the better they are at it, the more they'll cost you. Now, you want to question our (MS') right to deny you access to our platform? What's your budget?

Re:Obligatory (3, Insightful)

nametaken (610866) | more than 3 years ago | (#34622948)

Short of some kind of console hack, I'd guess Microsoft could make it nearly impossible for customers to run the game. I'm not a lawyer, but I'd think they have every right to do this.

Though the other big question is, if they're happy with Activision selling many millions of copies of COD games, where kids run around murdering each other with guns, hatchets, napalm, etc... how is a sex game totally inappropriate for their "family platform"? No doubt it reflects the opinions of the market, but it seems a little bizarre to me that we have such a problem with sex, but not extreme violence.

Personally, I have no problem with either. Maybe I'm messed up.

Re:Obligatory (2)

nathan.fulton (1160807) | more than 3 years ago | (#34623068)

Does a company really have the power to decide who and what can be developed for a piece of hardware it makes?

Maybe; that question is very similar to the legality of jailbreaking and such.

Does a company really have the power to decide who and what can be developed for a piece of hardware it makes?

Mostly indirectly. A company can control:
  • Who gets to use their development libraries
  • Who gets to market products using their trademarks ("for the kinect")
  • Possibly (and this is pure speculation), contractual agreements with retailers and consumers provide Microsoft with other rights.

I thought this was part of American "First Sale" doctrine?

First Sale relates to resale rights, and (AFAIK IANAL) probably not much else. See wikipedia [wikipedia.org].

So, Microsoft can't stop you and your friends from making a non-distributed, privately used sex game for the kinect using entirely your own software and not distributing that game publically (of course, good luck with that.) If they can, that's bogus and your concerns about slippery slopes and the ability to limit freedoms are probably more justified.

All in all, I don't see much problem with this. History proves that if Microsoft gets too restrictive, both free and proprietary solutions will provide viable alternatives to those of us concerned with freedom.

Re:Obligatory (1)

zero.kalvin (1231372) | more than 3 years ago | (#34623122)

I don't have an XBOX, so someone needs to answer this for me. But how in the hell they can stop them ? You create your program, you put it on a physical disk and you sell it. Are they going to sue the makers if they do that ? under what law ? That's like a car manufacturer telling what kind of music you can listen to and what you can't on your car radio.

Re:Obligatory (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | more than 3 years ago | (#34623202)

DRM

The box simply won't run your disc.

Re:Obligatory (2)

zero.kalvin (1231372) | more than 3 years ago | (#34623268)

Wait, you are forced to have DRM On your disk ? Shouldn't the machine just check if the disk was a copied disk or something ? How fucked up is that!!

Re:Obligatory (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | more than 3 years ago | (#34623350)

Well.. is there even a single indie console game out that is sold boxed and/or runs on an unmodded console?

Re:Obligatory (1)

ubercam (1025540) | more than 3 years ago | (#34623354)

Easily. Even if this company manages to develop the game (I believe the devkits require licenses), it won't be signed by MS, a necessary step to run on an unmodified console. If you had a mod chip, you would likely be able to run it as could then run unsigned code.

If they were smart, they would develop it for the PC. At the same time, they should also devote some devs to improve the open source drivers for the Kinect. That way they have their swingin 3D sex game and, aside from the fact that very few, if any retailers would actually sell it, no one could stop them from selling it. Microsoft might try to do something if they use a Kinect in their advertising, but I'm not sure how that would actually pan out.

Re:Obligatory (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 3 years ago | (#34623320)

Does a company really have the power to decide who and what can be developed for a piece of hardware it makes?

Yes, they do and they have been doing so for at least 20 years, see the censorship needed on Maniac Mansion to be allowed a release on NES.

As in, once someone buys it, they are allowed to do anything they like with it?

The consoles only run authorized code, so you might be able to do what you want with it, but you can't do that as you can't break the encryption, "being allow to" != "being able to". The other issue is that even if you manage to get past the encryption, you can really do that, as they will send lawyers and police after you for breaking the encryption, as that is illegal under the DMCA (people might disagree on the details).

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34623388)

Damned if they do, damned if they don't. Amazon had to pull down that book about instructions for Pedophilia because people freaked. Imagine the volume of bible-belt parents if they allow sex games.

Microsoft is selling to families and tons of families are going to want to know there aren't sex games for their kids on the platform. They have the right to disallow whatever games they want, and you have the right to buy a competing product.

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34622910)

Actually, as much as i hate MS. This is one where I can't dispute.

Virtual sex is not family friendly... it is somehow hard to make babies like that. Unless instead of real one, people will start making babies like this one http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamagotchi

Re:Obligatory (2)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#34622990)

Virtual sex is not family friendly... it is somehow hard to make babies like that

In other news, the "House & Garden" magazine is not family friendly because it's hard to buy a house if you see pictures of houses. Also, the "Car & Driver" magazine was found to be not car friendly, because people will not buy a car if they see the picture of one.

Family friendly (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34622696)

Xbox is a family friendly games and entertainment console

Well how do they think people get families? Duh.

Re:Family friendly (1)

ThePromenader (878501) | more than 3 years ago | (#34623104)

Yes, how are we supposed to work the procreation thing if we can't access the manual first?

Re:Family friendly (1)

ThePromenader (878501) | more than 3 years ago | (#34623160)

...and obviously I still need practice. My friends' wives with kids say it only took their husbands minutes to make a baby - it still takes me ~hours~ .

Here's the demo video (5, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 3 years ago | (#34622700)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bk7AMY_ocU&has_verified=1 [youtube.com]

Make the game for PC/Mac/Linux.. the Kinect just plugs right in.

Re:Here's the demo video (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 3 years ago | (#34623100)

Make the game for PC/Mac/Linux.. the Kinect just plugs right in.

Yeah, considering that there are open-source Kinect drivers, I don't think Microsoft's desire to block this game will have much impact. It just won't sell over the official channels. Anyone who really wants it will get it.

Avoiding criticism (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34622718)

They're avoiding the inevitable "if you want to use porn, buy an Xbox - otherwise buy our product" criticism various nitwits [wired.com] will invariably level at them.

Microsoft immediately shot down any speculation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34622726)

I think they're being a bit premature.

Re:Microsoft immediately shot down any speculation (1)

Bai jie (653604) | more than 3 years ago | (#34622996)

Well, they wanted to pull out of this before it got out of hand.

Re:Microsoft immediately shot down any speculation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34623090)

They just don't have the balls for it.

Killing millions is fine. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34622732)

But no tittys for you!

Dayum humans are messed up.

Re:Killing millions is fine. (3, Insightful)

mirix (1649853) | more than 3 years ago | (#34622780)

america is the one with tit fear, not humans as a whole.

Re:Killing millions is fine. (0)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34622900)

Exposing children to overt, hard core sexuality (not a titty here or there or a random dangler shot or two) has serious impact on their development, and not in a good way.

Might as well make that retarded argument about child molesters, it's not like many victims of that don't turn out totally fucked up, amirite?

Re:Killing millions is fine. (1)

imthesponge (621107) | more than 3 years ago | (#34622922)

Yes. Selling a game for adults only is morally equivalent to child molestation.

Re:Killing millions is fine. (0)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34623012)

I won't even do that the justice of calling it a straw man - it's more of a non sequitur.

It seems a small step to go from the nonsense argument that sex is harmless to children and we're all silly to restrict porn to children to the nonsense that all a molester is doing is "gently touching" the kid and it's not like he's beating them or anything, right?

I have no problem whatsoever with porn for adults.

Re:Killing millions is fine. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34623370)

Wait, what? You know Richard, can I call you Richard? Well Dick, I had to go back and check the thread, clicking "Parent" to see if I missed something. You were the one who produced the Straw Man argument:

Exposing children to overt, hard core sexuality (not a titty here or there or a random dangler shot or two) has serious impact on their development, and not in a good way.

Who the fuck said that children were going to be exposed to overt, hard-core "sexuality" Dick? Did I miss the press release where Microsoft said they'd send free copies of every certified game to all children with an XBox360? Oh, they aren't? Well surprise sur-fucking-prise, Dick, what a turn up for the books.

And then what happened Dick? When imthesponge called you on your pathetic straw man argument and pointed out how ridiculous you are? Well, I'll tell you what you did, you jumped off the stupid boat into Lake Douche with both feet:

It seems a small step to go from the nonsense argument that sex is harmless to children and we're all silly to restrict porn to children to the nonsense that all a molester is doing is "gently touching" the kid and it's not like he's beating them or anything, right?

Yet another straw man argument. No-one ever said we shouldn't restrict the sale of porn or sexually-explicit games to children. You know who else owns consoles, other than children? Now...let me think...not children...what do we call that group again? Oh yeah, "Adults". Dick, since you have "no problem whatsoever with porn for adults", why is this game wrong? Why is it "more wrong" than GTA IV? Or Kane & Lynch? Neither of which should be in the hands of children.

In short, Dick, if a game so overtly sexual or violent gets into the hands of children, they have much bigger problems than the games. Dick.

Re:Killing millions is fine. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34622942)

Exposing children to overt, hard core sexuality (not a titty here or there or a random dangler shot or two) has serious impact on their development, and not in a good way.

Care to offer any proof of that, or did you just pull it out of your (goatse-style) asshole? In any case, I never seem to see any of the "OMG TITTIES" crowd trying to deal with the fact that plenty of kids see stuff IN REAL LIFE that would earn a lo-fi graphical description an AO rating.

But maybe you're right - it probably IS worse for little Timmy to see pr0n than for him to watch his dad beat his mom then smoke some meth. Makes perfect sense.

And there goes... (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34622752)

My idea for an automatic "PANIC SOMEONE ELSE IS IN THE ROOM" feature for adult entertainment failsafes...

Too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34622766)

I could argue sex *is* family friendly :)

Re:Too bad (1)

monkyyy (1901940) | more than 3 years ago | (#34623144)

but this isnt sex its basically a sight upgrade form cybersex

cause there is no chance of an accidental family

No Adults only games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34622792)

Am I missing something or does the ESRB rating of M and AO not apply to adults?

Yes, the M rating is 17+, and "adults" are 18+. I am just going with a "close enough" attitude for this argument.

Examples of AO games:

Manhunt 2
GTA: San Andreas

Ok, the others listed on ESRB's website, not so much.

Re:No Adults only games? (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 3 years ago | (#34623128)

The AO rating basically means that the game can't be published, as neither Nintendo, Sony nor Microsoft will allow that to happen on their consoles. Even on the PC an AO rating would run into trouble as quite a few stores wouldn't carry it (not sure about Steam and other online platforms).

The reason why GTA:SA has an AO is due to the Hot Coffee incident, before that it was M and it got a rerelease that was M as well. Manhunt 2 also only has an AO on PC, the console version is censored and M.

The real damage is to the ego... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34622798)

http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2010/11/29/

The Bigger Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34622822)

Should companies really have a say on how their products are used after sale? If I buy a car, it's my damn car. Why should they be able to stop me from using my console in any way I like, and why should they be able to stop developers from making products for the platform?

Re:The Bigger Question (1)

shadowrat (1069614) | more than 3 years ago | (#34622958)

They aren't saying you can't get a sex game for Xbox and kinect. They are saying they won't license one. I'm certain you can mid your Xbox and play an unlicensed game, but you can't connect to Xbox live then.

Typical. (4, Insightful)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 3 years ago | (#34622832)

I don't have any objection to Microsoft refusing to certify whatever software they don't want to certify, for whatever reason they choose. If "not certified" means "won't run on Xbox", then perhaps the market will exist for alternatives, such as the Kinect-to-Linux setup already mentioned. (Or maybe not; porn seems to be aimed at the least common denominator, as evidenced by the fact that it's mostly crap.)

But it's somewhat ridiculous to say that the reason for denying such apps is that the Xbox is "a family friendly games and entertainment console". By that standard, any number of violent games should be excluded, from Bioshock to Stubbs the Zombie. Sure, "Family Friendly" is a fuzzy, undefinable term -- heck, you could make the argument that Portal would make little children sad (oh, how I miss the Companion Cube).

Reject the app because it's explicitly sexual. Or because it's poorly written, which is equally likely. But don't rack in Christmas sales of Call of Duty while saying the Xbox is "family friendly".

[insert obligatory Microsoft-is-evil throwaway line here]

Re:Typical. (2)

imthesponge (621107) | more than 3 years ago | (#34622856)

In the US, "family friendly" means "no sex or nudity", not "no violence, gore or death".

Re:Typical. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34622916)

Not really family friendly if ya cant play fun games with your wife!

Re:Typical. (1)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 3 years ago | (#34622918)

I think of it as "would it be reasonable to have this content in front of a family." Think grandma, aunts and kids visiting. Violence is borderline acceptable, but hardcore porn- wouldn't work.

Re:Typical. (1)

imthesponge (621107) | more than 3 years ago | (#34622984)

It's obviously not a family-friendly type of game, but does publishing it for the XBox make the XBox itself a non-family-friendly console?

Any piece of consumer electronics that can possibly contain adult content (no matter how) is now unsafe for your children. Better toss out that DVD player, and your television as well. Neither of them are protected!

Re:Typical. (1)

monkyyy (1901940) | more than 3 years ago | (#34623294)

throw out cell phones, computers as well

and have u heard this thing called "playboy" better get rid of magazines
twilight with its bestiality and necrophilia no more books,
and have u heard about this terrorist thing called "wikileaks" must get rid of news
gossip? no more talking
bill boards? no leaving to house

now all there is left to do is watch mommy and daddy do stuff they would have done alone but we wouldnt want the children to see billboards or talk to people

Re:Typical. (1)

monkyyy (1901940) | more than 3 years ago | (#34623194)

i dont think my grandma would be ok with xbl chat, much less the gore

xbox is hardy ever family friendly by that definition

If you know Microsoft's policy... (3, Funny)

brunokummel (664267) | more than 3 years ago | (#34622840)

you just know that there must be someting in the License of their products that states: "No one can screw our costumer, but us!"

typo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34622848)

you should read :
"and would not condom this type of game for Kinect"

Shit like this annoys me (5, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34622868)

Not so much the not making a sex game, after all just because it is based on sex doesn't mean the game would be any good at all, but the "We won't certify AO games." Screw you. I get rather tired of ratings systems working so that the highest rating is effectively a ban. You see this all the time. When was the last time you saw an AO game? How about an NC-17 movie?

The thing is I'm not even after sexual titles, I'm just after something that perhaps has more adult content, and that can include violence or disturbing topics, than allowed by an M/R rating. However because companies like MS and Walmart (Walmart won't sell AO/NC-17 titles) get all prudish about it, we can't have that.

Also the amount of sexual content that push something to that limit is stupidly small. For example: Ever see American Pie? How about the unrated version? If you have seen the original, but not the unrated version, and some time has passed, I encourage you to get and watch the unrated version. Then when you are done, see if you can even tell what the difference was. It is extremely minor, only a few scenes with minor alterations. What's the deal then? Well the "unrated" version was the original cut, as the director wanted. However the MPAA said they'd have to hang an NC-17 on it, which means no theater would play it. So the director made the cuts they wanted to get an R rating. It was then released unrated (remember ratings are 100% voluntary) on DVD later. However were it rated, it'd get an NC-17 and thus nobody would carry it.

It annoys me greatly. I don't mind content ratings, I can appreciate how they are a useful guide for parents, particularly since with $50-60 videogames "Just buy it and play it first," isn't a viable plan. However I get tired of them being used as effective censorship. Just rate the games and sell them dammit, let the market decide.

Re:Shit like this annoys me (1)

imthesponge (621107) | more than 3 years ago | (#34622898)

"Just rate the games and sell them dammit, let the market decide."

Isn't the market deciding already, by not selling AO games?

Re:Shit like this annoys me (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 3 years ago | (#34623140)

No. As this story illustrates, those that might want to sell AO games are being blocked by technological means from doing so.

If ThriXXX (or whatever they're called) were to bring the game to market, and no one bought it, then it would be the market deciding.

But it would be bought. We all know it.

Re:Shit like this annoys me (3, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#34623306)

"Just rate the games and sell them dammit, let the market decide."

Isn't the market deciding already, by not selling AO games?

Seems to me the "market solution" would involve selling those games openly to the people who want them. If that's a niche market, then it won't be very large, but it would still exist.

Blatant censorship doesn't sound much like "let the market decide" to me. It sounds more to me like "if the market decided this, it might produce a result we don't like, so we won't let the market decide this one."

Re:Shit like this annoys me (2)

jdastrup (1075795) | more than 3 years ago | (#34623030)

What is more annoying is when people claim businesses are guilty of censorship. I'm not even sure you can even call it censorship if people, business or any privately controlled entity determines what they will endorse, sell, disclose, etc. That's just called using judgement, being responsible, marketing, making money, etc. Instead, get annoyed when governments and media outlets censor.

Re:Shit like this annoys me (5, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#34623334)

What is more annoying is when people claim businesses are guilty of censorship. I'm not even sure you can even call it censorship if people, business or any privately controlled entity determines what they will endorse, sell, disclose, etc. That's just called using judgement, being responsible, marketing, making money, etc. Instead, get annoyed when governments and media outlets censor.

Microsoft is free to choose not to produce games containing sex and/or nudity if they don't want to do that. That would be "judgment" and would be deciding "what they will endorse, sell, disclose, etc."

However, Microsoft is saying they don't want anybody else to produce games containing sex and/or nudity. That's beyond exercising their own discretion. That's more like saying "because we don't want to do this, no one else should do this either". Leveraging their ownership of a console to enforce this may be fully legal but that doesn't make it right or justifiable or anything other than censorship.

Re:Shit like this annoys me (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34623226)

However the MPAA said they'd have to hang an NC-17 on it, which means no theater would play it.

And who is to blame for this? It's not like theaters refuse to play without good reason, most likely that they would get less overall business. I'm guessing it's the movie-going public who is to blame.

Let's stop using euphemisms like "family friendly" (5, Insightful)

cazort (1962530) | more than 3 years ago | (#34622924)

I wish people would not use vacuous euphemisms like "family friendly" when they really mean "free of explicit sexual content". The "family" label is so silly in my eyes, since without sex, there would be no children and thus no families. If Microsoft wants to restrict the subject matter of their games, I'd like them to at least be up front about the type of control and censorship they are exercising. And personally? I think it's rather hypocritical given the ubiquity of violence used in video games. My personal opinion is generally that "sex is good, violence is bad", so if I were going to target one or the other, I would cut out the explicit violence before I started any sort of censorship of explicit sexual content. Make love, not war!

Re:Let's stop using euphemisms like "family friend (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#34623070)

In fairness, the events depicted in this family-unfriendly game are pretty unlikely to be the type that actually result in families. Recreational sex and procreation are not the same thing.

cert? we don't need no stinkin' cert (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34622930)

Sex sells(ask AOL) and is a great motivator of technology(e.g. internet, 900-numbers).

Microsoft won't put much effort into stopping it... lip service at best.

So much for adult gaming (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34622982)

The gaming industry wants us to believe how adult and mature they are now but you'll never see an AO game because everything has to be based around the assumption that not too many parents will get upset over their kid playing it and unfortunately violence is much more acceptable for children than sex or plain old nudity.

They'll strongly defend their right produce violent games claiming adults eat that shit up but it's because it's easier to for get the story and entertain kids just by giving them ability to shoot up or chop up people / animals.

Re:So much for adult gaming (1)

muindaur (925372) | more than 3 years ago | (#34623330)

The weird thing is that as an adult I tend to stray away from the extremes like GTA and Manhunt. I'll play something like WoW, Ratchet and Clank, Crash Bandicoot, or Spyro. On occasion a game like Medal of Honor(yeah, skip the level playing as the terrorist) because it's something that lets me avoid the merciless slaughter of innocents. That's because my stomach turns with killing civilians in GTA(I also don't enjoy the high amounts of foul language.) I'm not some highly religious nut, just an athiest.

It's something I would pass on to my kids by playing games with them, and teaching them killing innocent people is bad. That's the problem though. Too many adults have kids, but then want nothing to do with raising them: it's called giving them up for adoption.

Sex is bad but Murder is okay (5, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34622994)

How many times do we have to explain this to people? Sniping, hand-to-hand, rocket launchers, rail guns, grenades, claymores and even nuclear attacks are ALL "good family oriented fun" and of course Grand Theft Auto is just good clean fun. But sex? NO! That's just dirty and no one ever does that.

Holier than thou (2)

SplashMyBandit (1543257) | more than 3 years ago | (#34623006)

It's hard to argue with the "Holier than thou" attitude we're seeing a lot these days. There will be no-one within Microsoft who can stand up and say "Enough!" as the retort will be, "So you don't believe in protecting the children then?" (or "You are supporting the terrorists then", or "Supporting transparent government is helping getting our boys killed", or any other position that no reasonable person would take - yet not a direct or certain consequence of opting for real freedom). This is how most social/political groups get more and more radical over time (expect this trend to accelerate with Microsoft now a precedent has been set). The "nanny corporation" makes out (lol) as if having fun during sex is taboo. Since when did technologists adopt the old puritannical position (lol) of "Oh no, you only do it for procreation"? (in a married relationship, in the bedroom only, in the authorized missionary position, in the front-door only [lurlz] etc etc).

Sure, having smut in front of young children is not desirable, but c'mon, have you seen a music video lately (probably not if think a Zune would be cool for your sounds)? Also, Microsoft have no problem with their devices being used to represent (in increasingly high definition) people being dismembered, gutted, run over, shot, bombed, zapped, crushed, stabbed, exploded, etc. etc. on their console but can't stand to have people have natural human relations while also messing around with an XBox. "Just think of the shareholders" is a ridiculous excuse for being so heavy handed to their development partners and clients.

What gets put on an XBox should be at the discretion of the owners and the marketplace supplying those owners, provided all relevant laws are adhered to. Both adults and parents can manage that with enough the need of a nanny state or nanny corporation just as they already can manage what is on their DVD player or computer (and if they can't, they can purchase from a large range of software to sort it out for them). Microsoft are as big dickheads as Apple (for all you haters out there slamming Apple as if they were the only ones).

Simple solution. Don't reward Microsoft by buying or giving an XBox. Corporates only listen to money, and they notice trends, so do your duty.

Why buy products that limit your choices? (0)

maillemaker (924053) | more than 3 years ago | (#34623008)

I don't understand why people would buy closed computing products where you can't run whatever you want to run on them.

I buy the hardware. After that, I should be able to run whatever software I can buy that runs on it.

Who buys these things? They need to get off my lawn.

Re:Why buy products that limit your choices? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34623026)

What is this post suppose to mean? Do you think we don't know our options? Are you making a limp attempt at karma whoring or do you just need to hear yourself talk?

Re:Why buy products that limit your choices? (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 3 years ago | (#34623118)

Just like Microsoft isn't required to license whatever software is put in front of them.

Re:Why buy products that limit your choices? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34623292)

Most people who buy an Xbox aren't looking for a "computing product", they want a game console. For many gamers it makes a lot of sense; you put the disc in and it 'just works'. They don't want to worry about hardware requirements, drivers, configuration, etc., they just want to play games.

I'm a PC guy myself, but I can see why consoles appeal to a lot of users.

The article is wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34623014)

I believe the company is creating a game that runs on a PC, not the XBox. Using openkinect, the kinect can be attached to a PC, so no XBox is needed. I also don't know if Microsoft has any say in what someone uses the kinects for.

Boy am I in trouble (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34623098)

'This isn't the first example of a technology being used in ways not intended by its manufacturer, and it won't be the last,' a Microsoft spokesman said in a statement.

I spent hours last night playing strip connect four with my wife.

japan (1)

hjf (703092) | more than 3 years ago | (#34623154)

Damn, just imagine if Sony did the same. I mean, like half the games for PS2 are japan-only adult titles.

The game is not even being developed for the 360 (5, Informative)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 3 years ago | (#34623166)

MS can not stop the development of this game since it is not, nor has it ever been, made for the 360. The game is made for the PC using the open Kinect drivers available everywhere on the web.

family friendly killing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34623184)

Guns gore and blood = family friendly games and entertainment

kill Assange muhahahahahaha now

Family Friendly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34623222)

Gears of War gameplay [youtube.com]
^ How is chainsawing someone's face off family freindly. Just as bad imo.

American mindset is bizarre (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34623230)

I've always found the American psychology odd...

Look : Sure, blow people's brains out and be congratulated (headshot), throw grenades, reduce cities and their citizens to corpses... but god forbid any sex in a game.

Lesson blowing someones head off = Good, acceptable to discuss about in public ... Sex/boobies = Evil?

Americans, again, have a weird cultural psychology.

family friendly? (5, Insightful)

farble1670 (803356) | more than 3 years ago | (#34623252)

Xbox is a family friendly games and entertainment console

sure, check out the titles below. in the good ol' USA violence IS family friendly.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas--"... mission includes murder, theft, and destruction on every imaginable level. Player recovers his health by visiting prostitutes then recovers funds by beating them to death and taking their money. Player can wreak as much havoc as he likes without progressing through the game's storyline."

God of War--"Player becomes a ruthless warrior, seeking revenge against the gods who tricked him into murdering his own family. Prisoners are burned alive and player can use 'finishing moves' to kill opponents, like tearing a victim in half."

NARC--"Player can choose between two narcotics agents attempting to take a dangerous drug off the streets and shut down the KRAK cartel while being subject to temptations including drugs and money. To enhance abilities, player takes drugs including pot, Quaaludes, ecstasy, LSD, and 'Liquid Soul'--which provides the ability to kick enemies' heads off."

and more!
http://www.gamespot.com/xbox/action/gta4/news.html?sid=6140463 [gamespot.com]

I thought ThriXXX was releasing it... (3, Informative)

ehrichweiss (706417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34623312)

...for the PC, not the Xbox. I was pretty certain that was incredibly clear...did they announce something I'm unaware of?

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