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Role Playing (Games)

Sex and the Modern MMOG 87

Posted by Zonk
from the witty-titles-for-fun-and-profit dept.
My alma mater MMORPGDot has a review of the 'adults-only, subscription-based, independently-developed Sci-Fi Fantasy MMORPG set in London a hundred years from now'. It's a social MMOG, and one with more social options than you'll find in most commercial games. From the article: "Sex is not a mere role-playing concession in Sociolotron; it is a fully-baked and detailed gameplay mechanic. Players can engage in both consensual and forced sexual relations with other players and some NPCs- and believe it or not, sex serves a number of important purposes in the game. (Aside from the whole heir thing, the fluids that are exchanged and spilled during sexual encounters are critical components of some potions, and the game provides a variety of methods for collecting these substances.) Sex is really a sort of minigame in Socio, and before you utter the words 'Hot Coffee,' understand that this is no mere rhythm exercise. It's actually so complex a process that I'll only touch on a few details here."
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Sex and the Modern MMOG

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  • by bateleur (814657) on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @07:17PM (#14504957)
    Umm... doesn't "forced sexual relations" seem in rather poor taste ?

    Or is the argument supposed to be that if you can have violence in games then it's fair play ? Ugh.
    • by Idealius (688975) on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @07:38PM (#14505121) Journal
      I assumed that "forced sexual relations" was used to describe "rape" without having to use that word, but I also assumed that it would not be forced from a gameplay perspective.

      After all, how would they keep the "consensual sex"-loving consumers if these customer keeps getting "raped" when they're trying to powerbone their friends to higher levels?
      • You assume wrong (Score:4, Interesting)

        by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @08:53PM (#14505616) Journal
        Your avatar has certain stats. Depending on the stats you may loose control over your character. High level hookers cannot resist a job offer. Masochist will crumple in a fight. Seduction can be used to remove control in a nice way and rape in a not so nice way.

        This is not "pure" roleplay, you really can be a rape victim within the game and there is nothing you can do about it EXCEPT in the same way that we stop it in real life. The game seems to record all actions and create crimes wich more moral players can solve.

        This is an intresting way to do PvP. the most intresting chance however is not that they added the option of rape but that they really seem to try to create a player run justice system.

        There would seem to be definite disadvantages to being a griefer in this game.

      • > I assumed that "forced sexual relations" was
        > used to describe "rape" without having to use that word,

        Similarly, many MMORPGs have "rogues" and "scoundrels" instead of lying, cheating, stealing, bastard thieves.

        Don't wanna be seen as teachin' kids how fun and profitable it is to steal things, now is it? So you make the thief class anyway and call it "sugarlover" and hope no slimeball politician notices and tries to use it to their advantage.

      • Wired talked about virtual "rape" in Sociolotron [wired.com] (and whether in has any translation to the real world) back in June 2004.
    • If a game has violence and it has sex, why not the intersection of the two, sex AND violence?
    • by Kaimelar (121741) on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @08:00PM (#14505271) Homepage

      From the Friendly Article:

      Oh yeah, the game also features graphic interactive sex, rape, kidnapping, sadomasochism, burglary, substance addiction, pregnancy, abortion, sexually transmitted disease, permanent character death (complete with a playable afterlife in Hell), player corpse looting, and a bunch of other things you'll probably not find in any other recent game.

      Seems like they're trying to make a dark, gritty game that some people would find in poor taste. And, it seems to me, a game that would allow griefers to cause all sorts of havoc. Of course, maybe that's the point . . .

    • And murder isn't?
      Yea I find the whole thing rather gross. Maybe some kind of strange Twilight Zone like karma system needs to be put into these games.
      • From the article and other players comments it sounds like they have it. Rape and murder are tracked and considered crimes, then other players can solve those crimes.
        • Forget that other player crap I want digital wrath of God. I am talking if they do enough evil things like every time they hit something they do double damage to themselves.
          I want Robot hell.
    • Rape as an MMRPG game mechanic? I think that's incredibly poor taste.

      Plus it gives Jack Thompson something else to shit himself about.

      Damn now I have to condone virtual rape just for the gleeful joy of seeing Jack Thompson soil himself over something new.

      • Or, y'know, you could concede that despite Jack Thompson's rabid agenda, there might be some games that actually DO go a bit too far.
      • Fuck Jack Thompson (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Shihar (153932) on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @08:58PM (#14505646)
        Fuck Jack Thompson. I am pretty damn sure that this game will strictly enforce 18+. Let the idiot try and bring this before a court and get violently smacked down.

        Personally, I love the spat of video game laws that stupid state legislators have tried to pass. Each and every single one without exception has been struck down, and struck down hard. Each time one of these stupid laws are struck down, it just strengthens freedom of speech laws.

        Nothing brings a smile to my face like politicians ramming their head violently against the first amendment and looking shocked and confused when it doesn't budge. I welcome this game the legislation that congressmen will attempt to bring about to stop it. It just makes it easier to see which representatives will grow the strength to stand up for the first amendment, and which are pathetic sniveling slime that refuse to take a stand that doesn't instantly sound good in a sound byte. It makes picking who I vote for all the easier.

        Fuck'em.
    • by Alaren (682568) on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @08:43PM (#14505567)

      Indeed, it is in rather poor taste. But at this end of the "gritty" spectrum, poor taste is pretty relative. I have met women who would rather die than endure the horror of rape; but then, I have met women who would rather die than lose their virginity. What's worse: killing someone, or defiling them?

      Personally, at that level of degradation, I don't think there is much of a scale; rape, torture, murder, if you had to endure one which would you pick? But from the perspective of folks like the much-maligned (and rightly so, IMHO) Jack Thompson, things as bad or worse than rape are already present in a lot of games.

      You ask, "...is the argument supposed to be that if you can have violence in games then it's fair play?" I think that's a fair statement. You have rape in movies, why not games? You depict child abuse in books, why not games? The line drawn by the Jack Thompson crowd these days is "It's different because games are interactive. You are the killer. You become the rapist." If you buy that line, it's just as applicable to killing as it is to rape.

      Logically, interactive rape cannot be discussed as truly different than interactive killing. Forcible or consensual "virtual death" can only be as meaningful, or meaningless, as virtual sex, again forcible or consensual. It isn't real.

      So. With all of this in mind, what can you say? Personally I say, play what you like, don't play what you don't like, and allow others the same opportunity. Even if you find it in poor taste, because free speech is funny like that. If you try to limit it according to your own tastes, it stops being free for everyone, including you.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        rape, torture, murder, if you had to endure one which would you pick?

        Reminds me of the old joke where captives have to make that choice. The second captive chooses death, and the response is "Death! But first..."
      • Logically, interactive rape cannot be discussed as truly different than interactive killing.

        Certainly I see the argument, but I remain to be convinced. Combat and violence in games often provides the flavour/background for some mechanically interesting gameplay. Also, even in cases outside that category murder is either portrayed by NPCs or is in some way morally justified in the mind of the character you're controlling or is simply closer to comedy than drama.

        I don't want to see stuff like rape scenes
        • I'd much rather people carry this sort of behavior out in a virtual environment as opposed to a real one. My guess would be is that there will be a very tiny segment of population who will be adversly affected by a game like this but my belief in the first amendment supercede my need to be comfortable. Personally, I think there could be some fascinating personas to adapt in an environment like this.

          Another point, this environment is an adult environment. It is not meant for kids, it is not a playground.
        • Actually playing devil's advocate here. Rape is a known military tactic used in wars to discourage the population from openly ressiting the army coming. Germany was invaded in WW2 by russia with the russian soldiers given ORDERS to rape.
      • You ask, "...is the argument supposed to be that if you can have violence in games then it's fair play?" I think that's a fair statement. You have rape in movies, why not games? You depict child abuse in books, why not games? The line drawn by the Jack Thompson crowd these days is "It's different because games are interactive. You are the killer. You become the rapist." If you buy that line, it's just as applicable to killing as it is to rape.

        I think the point is that with games (and movies) which invol

      • In real life, I can envision situations where killing is acceptable. I can't imagine any situation at all in which rape or child abuse is acceptable. So there's clearly a difference in real life, and I think there should be one in games as well. If you play as a hero killing the minions of an evil dictator bent on taking over the world, that seems to be a case of justifiable violence. However, there's simply no possible justification for rape, even in a fictional context.
      • Not a direct reply to your comment, but you mentioned Jack Thompson. If you believe his recent mostly level headed interview, he would not have any reason to go against this game, because it isn't being marketed to minors, and you have to be 21 to join.
        • Jack puts on his "I'm a reasonable man" hat for interviews with the mainstream media (for the most part).

          If you check out some of the comments he posts on various websites, his position is unclear. The most common assertion is that all gamers are stupid, lazy sociopaths, generally on drugs. He claims to only want to legislate the sale of games to minors, but has frequently been known to push for an outright ban on certain types of game.

          Check out gamepolitics.com where Jack has become a frequently-posting
          • Jack puts on his "I'm a reasonable man" hat for interviews with the mainstream media (for the most part).

            Netjak isn't in the mainstream media. In fact, it's precisely the type of website that Jack Thompson trolls.

            His interview was still full of shit, though.

            Rob
      • What's worse: killing someone, or defiling them?

        This is a pretty black and white question. Clearly people who would chose death over {insert your least-favorite non-consentual sexual act here} have some level of the same type of psychological issues that people who choose to commit suicide have. Sure {your least-favorite non-consentual sex act} is really, really terrible, but think about it... Could anybody ever have a rational conversation with you where at the end you would say "No, you're right, your lif
        • Could anybody ever have a rational conversation with you where at the end you would say "No, you're right, your life sucks so much you should kill yourself", other than perhaps somebody who is terminally ill already?

          That depends. How long until they respawn?
      • "Logically, interactive rape cannot be discussed as truly different than interactive killing. Forcible or consensual "virtual death" can only be as meaningful, or meaningless, as virtual sex, again forcible or consensual.

        I do not see logic in this stetement at all. Because the context of killing is usually in a war setting or a good-guy bad-guy setting. But, what setting can you possibly pick that marginally justifies rape? At least in a combat game, or in a cops-n-robber game, the violence is somewhat
        • 'Maybe not real to most. But children and many young adults have trouble with breaking suspension of disbelief.'

          If you cant tell the difference between real and not real by the age of 21 you have bigger issues than doing terrible things in computer games.
          • So you believe that only those 21 and older are playing these games?
            • Well the method of payment for sociolotron pretty much restricts to 18.
              I think my post can still apply.

              Otherwise a kid would have to have a parent sign them up (I dont even want to think of how screwed up a parent would have to be to sign up a kid to a game where they can be raped.) or theyd have to nick a card from someone else and you cant exactly blame Sociolotron for the way a child has been raised.

              I dont particularly agree with this game, I do think it goes to far, for similar reasons to the ones you p
    • Is it safe to assume that only male players can commit a rape, or is it possible for female characters to rape the other players?
  • So I guess the only appropriate question is, when will it support a force feedback "joystick"?
  • Forced sex? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Kawolski (939414) on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @07:33PM (#14505082)
    Great, so now when I get ganked, mugged and PKed, my beaten corpse can get raped too?

    WTB Assblocker 3000 PST.

  • The players will create it for us. Its the same kind of sandbox approach I that fills me with disdain in some other notable "games".

    I'll give them credit for having a hook, but at this point it would seem they need to focus as much as possible on that hook. And for this kind of thing I think there are plenty of text-based MUDs that already do this pretty well... (shrug). A coup getting a story on /., probably get enough activity to justify its existance from that.

    The review reads like sophistry,
  • Geeksex (Score:5, Funny)

    by Eightyford (893696) on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @07:35PM (#14505097) Homepage
    Now the geeks can see what they've been missing all these years. Level Up! Dildo Upgraded! 50 Pts!
  • fluids (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @07:58PM (#14505258)
    You know having sex in a MMO is interesting and could ad a bit to character interactions (now having a wife in a game may actually mean something)> having forced sexual relation may be in poor taste, but I honestly don't see it that much worse then PKing. The thing that I am having a problem with is:

    "the fluids that are exchanged and spilled during sexual encounters are critical components of some potions"

    That is just getting nasty.

    ---

    Healer: Oh shoot! Leroy is getting low on life.

    Healer: Quick get me some components so I can make a potion!

    Group: Fap fap fap
    • While the fact that female player characters who join the demon cult can produce healing milk is just a bit kinky the game also has a use for aborted fetusses. A virgin fetus (first fetus of a woman) is a valuable ingredient for some magic according to the manual.

      3....2.....1 Ah hello Jack Thompson.

    • Re:fluids (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Damn, now I can just imagine Leeroy Jenkins having sex and shouting out his name while having an orgasm.
  • by Doomstalk (629173) on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @08:21PM (#14505418)
    understand that this is no mere rhythm exercise.

    Everyone knows that the rhythm method doesn't work anyway.
  • by bluemeep (669505) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (peemeulb)> on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @08:30PM (#14505484) Homepage
    Sex has been present almost as long as online games have been running. It's been the focus of dozens of MUDs, can be witnessed in errant /emotes in out of the way zones in current commercial MMOs and I personally know three people that worked in brothels in Rhydin, the freeform chat room based RP system that ran amok on AOL.

    This is just the first time someone bothered to give it graphics. And possibly the first time you were charged for the privledge, but I'd have to check my facts on that one...

    You may return to your "robe and wizard hat" quips now.

    • You may be right in that sex has existed in MUDs to an extent - but are they easy to access for younger teenage boys? This is where I see the game's downfall.

      Anyone feel like playing a game overrun by hormonally supercharged teenagers? I suppose detailed graphics and potentially quick notoriety won't really support this game well, but I may probably be proved wrong.

      Just imagine how bad their typing will be... it's already bad enough but then you add the fact that they're typing it one handed and probabl
      • I recall an article about 10 years ago (at least) where people discussed text-based MUDs (which was all there was at that time), one of which had mechanics such that people could be "virtually raped". Or maybe someone was just being creative with /emote, who knows?
        • That article [ludd.luth.se] is widely regarded by people who have actually played MUDs to be completely stupid and off-base because a "rape victim" can simply log off, walk out of the room, or /ignore. And yes, it was basically "someone being creative with /emote."

          Rob
  • Do you ever wonder if there's some player out there with lots of money and little sense, a figure or group that so hates video games that they go out of their way to fund or publish or otherwise create and promote games that make even real _gamers_ cringe?
  • if they can harness the power of three dimensions...
  • by Strell (877448) on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @09:36PM (#14505878)
    *nt*
  • by garylian (870843) on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @10:03PM (#14506020)
    I participated in the beta on 2 different occasions over the course of 4 years, each for a month or so at a time. It was a lark, and my wife thought some of it was hysterical. Honestly, she could watch me play and just laugh. If any of you read "The Sports Guy", Bill Simmons on ESPN.com, you have heard of his Unintentional Comedy Index, or UCI. This game is off the charts. I don't think the game maker nor the players intend for it to be funny, but if you could just be a fly on the wall during "encounters", you'd be rolling in the aisles. In the end, while it was almost morbidly fascinating, I stopped doing the beta each time.

    Yes, it was very much suspected that most of the female characters were played by men. It would certainly explain why most female characters role-played being lesbians who loved anal sex. Plus, all the female and male bodies are exactly the same, and the male sex organs are hugely out of porportions to the bodies. You can really tell a man designed everything.

    This is supposed to be a MMORPG, but there is little combat and little challenge in the game, overall. It is purely a social game that has combat to taunt people into believing it is a MMORPG. PvP is not something you can turn off after a certain "level" of ability. And, you don't just get killed, but can be raped and then killed. Many "women" takled about the insane amount of fear and adrenalin rush they got when they were kidnapped, raped, and then killed. It was very real to them, as their character was rendered completely helpless.

    The game does (or did when I quit the 2nd time) feature PermaDeath as the rule for once you get out of your newbie shoes. You can have children, though, and you or your partner can use that child to be reborn when you are PermaDeathed.

    The sex itself... C'mon, that is why you are reading this, right? Don't lie, you pervert! Zip up your pants and read, then!

    The sex itself is pathetic. While they give motions and actions you can do, it is mostly poor text (the mispellings are hideous) that drives this show. It is very easy to have 2 characters supposedly going at it, and the guy is laying 2 feet to the left of the girl, but they are both humping air furiously, and the game tells you he is inside her. Many actions require one person to allow the other person to take hold of them. Trust the wrong person, and once that happens, you could be dead.

    Roleplaying is a necessity, but the level of the players in the beta was pretty horrible. Most of the male characters were merely sperm donors, and added nothing to their partner's enjoyment by using creative words to enhance the "event". Male characters that could actually type and make it seem more real became sought after. Female characters (probably played mostly by men who had a gift to being descriptive) were usually better at it, but some of them were just as inept.

    Character classes are pretty stupid, with not much to offer roleplay opportunities. The exceptions were the Succubi, and the Inquisitors. Succubi had to harvest sperm, and usually harvested it from their own bodies. However, to harvest it, they had to make themsleves immobile, and therefor easy to be killed if anywhere close to public. Inquisitors had to kill sinners, and mostly took on the prostitues that wander about (and are your only real source of combat for the early stages of the game.) They kill them by cutting their heart out.

    The beta was constantly plagued by griefers, who were often allowed to carry on, because it was within the design of the game. You want to serially rape and kill female characters, because that is who your character is? Go right ahead! More power to you! And if they catch you and kill you, don't complain. The problem is, these folks took to being a griefer the way a powergamer took to WoW for the first month. They boost characters up fast, and make themselves almost impervious to one-on-one situations. They break into private places looking for toons that are AFK, or not doing anyth
    • by Tyger (126248) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @12:52PM (#14510372)
      I'm not going to comment on most your post (Having little knowledge in the game) but I take issue with:

      It is purely a social game that has combat to taunt people into believing it is a MMORPG.

      What do you think MMORPG means? "Massively Multiplayer Combat Game"? Traditionally most MMORPGs have been combat because it's the easiest to do, and most computer RPGs involve combat. But there is nothing that says MMORPG must be combat. Computer RPGs are about story and character development and, well, playing a role. I don't see this game as any different. And it's not like it's the first non combat MMORPG. There have been many others, including the likes of Club Caribe (Technically not a MMORPG only because the term didn't exist then), Second Life and The Sims Online.
      • Since you didn't play the game, and your only knowledge of the game is from the article and my review, you are making a valid arguement without knowing why I said what I did. Traditionally, *almost* all MMORPGs have revolved around combat.

        Sociolotron advertised combat, magic, and PvP as part of their MMORPG experience, along with sex play. But the combat stuff was so poorly implemented, that it was clerly used as a teaser to get more people to play the game than probably would have, especially early in th
        • Personally I think MMORPG is more fitting term for those games than what you call "classic MMORPG". In fact I've seen the opposite trend, people dropping the RP from games that really don't have any and just calling them "MMOG". Of course it hasn't stuck yet.

          I still stand by my point though. I get what you are saying about combat, and got that from the article too, but I still disagree that makes it any less a MMORPG.
  • look like UO's "3D" upgrade's graphics. Honestly, if they had a free trial I would play it.
  • If this isn't the perfect oportunity for a desperate 25th level Cleric to conjure up a potion of rohypnol, I don't know what is.
  • Any game that keeps any sort of number of perverted, griefing, wanna-be rapists out of my chosen game is definately a good thing.
  • by Taulin (569009) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @01:44AM (#14507215) Homepage Journal
    Just look at the responses and posts in this thread. Only one was really informative about the game or subject so far. The rest make jests and jokes about the subject of sex in games. The reason adult content is not found in the US more often is because market research finds these kinds of remarks...giggles, pointed fingers...much like school children who find a torn page of a Playboy issue on the school yard. I for one would love to see sex introduced more in games. While this game seems to revolve around it too much, as a play mechanic, it adds to what we have now. Do you think being able to have sex in games would degrade the game to the point where everyone would be doing it everywhere? If so, what does that say about society? Maybe game rules should enforce sex like real life,ie no public nudity, etc. My point is, until you 'gamers' grow up a bit, this aspect of games will not.
    • What do you want, lengthy and much-considered essays on a stupid game almost nobody here has played? The subject isn't worth anything more than the lame quips it's recieving.
    • by Walkiry (698192) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @05:24AM (#14507942) Homepage
      >The rest make jests and jokes about the subject of sex in games.

      That's because the implementation of sex in games not only leaves much to be desired, but also we've got accustomed to game developers using boobies to sell a poorly implemented, boring and not very imaginative game. The jests made in the responses pointed to this, and surprise surprise, when someone who knew about the game and had played it answered, it confirmed everything we suspected about it *shocked*.

      The idea may or may not be worth discussing but it seems like, as we all expected, the implementation sucked, the game was technically a piece of crap, and the design of the "game" part was poorly thought out and weakly executed. This game, like many others before it, attempts to use outrageous claims about the fantastic sex stuff you can find inside to sell you a turd, and they didn't even bother to polish it.

      So no, we don't have to "grow up", the game designers have to start thinking about actually making compelling games, sex and all, instead of making a piece of shit and throwing in some jugs hoping the hormonally charged teenagers will flock to it. Because so far that's all they do with "sex in games". Then, and only then, they'll get a less cynical and jaded response.
    • Im not entirely sure, but you seem to be typing as if the people playing these games are different to the people watching movies with sex scenes.

      They of course arnt and when a movie sex scene is portrayed as a valid piece of the film. (Off the top of my head Sarah Connor and Reece in Terminator.) No one was there giggling and pointing at the fact that you caught a glimpse of a boob. If games portray the subject with as much validity and maturity as that then it wont degrade it.

      'Do you think being able to ha
  • Where now is the industry that entertained many's the geek as a lad?

    Is it reduced to this? A trenchcoated toilet trader passing out favours for nine pence an hour?

    Is this evolution, or devolution? Only one thing is certain. The game will suck....Oh wait.
  • "Sex is not a mere role-playing concession in Sociolotron; it is a fully-baked and detailed gameplay mechanic."

    Does this sound like a really bad idea to anyone else? Reminds me worryingly of F.A.T.A.L. [fatalgames.com] (which is an abomination, IMHO).

    Consider, why does the game need a gameplay mechanic for sex? Answer, because the outcome is important ("the fluids that are exchanged and spilled during sexual encounters are critical components of some potions") - at that point, I think the game is moving beyond not avoiding
  • I've been playing Socio for almost a year now...I joined the game near the end of the beta phase because of an article I read in Sync and I have to say I absolutely love it! I'm a female in my 30's and I've played both female AND male characters...I love the idea of a game that lets me live my fantasies and explore the darker side of my personality....yes, you can be raped...I have been several times...even had a child by one rapist...I've performed abortions on myself and know of other who were attacked,
    • Hear that bang? I think it was Jack Thompson's head exploding.
  • Yes, think about the parents ...

    to their teenager kids: 'No, you cannot install a script from an untrusted source that increase your e-penis by 10 pixel ...'

    or during the mandotory 2 days their must show interest in their kids' brand new XBox 720:

    'Hey mum, look, if I fscked the sylvan elf and mix her vaginal fluid with the one of the troll I rape yesterday I can get a 'Pant of Love' + 5'

     

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