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Microsoft Puts the Kibosh On Kinect Sex Game Plans 419

Posted by Soulskill
from the losing-battle dept.
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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Microsoft Puts the Kibosh On Kinect Sex Game Plans

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  • Obligatory (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Monday December 20, 2010 @07:36PM (#34622684) Journal

    Fuck you, Microsoft. ;-)

  • by mirix (1649853) on Monday December 20, 2010 @07:44PM (#34622780)

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

  • Re:Obligatory (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fluffeh (1273756) on Monday December 20, 2010 @07:44PM (#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?

  • Typical. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RobertB-DC (622190) * on Monday December 20, 2010 @07:48PM (#34622832) Homepage Journal

    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]

  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday December 20, 2010 @07:52PM (#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.

  • Licensing? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by poptones (653660) on Monday December 20, 2010 @07:55PM (#34622896) Journal

    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.

  • by cazort (1962530) on Monday December 20, 2010 @07:57PM (#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:Obligatory (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nametaken (610866) * on Monday December 20, 2010 @07:59PM (#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.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Monday December 20, 2010 @08:03PM (#34622994) Homepage

    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.

  • Re:Obligatory (Score:5, Insightful)

    by causality (777677) on Monday December 20, 2010 @08:06PM (#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 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mug funky (910186) on Monday December 20, 2010 @08:10PM (#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.

  • family friendly? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by farble1670 (803356) on Monday December 20, 2010 @08:28PM (#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]

  • by causality (777677) on Monday December 20, 2010 @08:32PM (#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."

  • by causality (777677) on Monday December 20, 2010 @08:35PM (#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:Licensing? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dmesg0 (1342071) on Monday December 20, 2010 @08:44PM (#34623432)
    If it's not certified - it's not signed by Microsoft. No unmodded xbox360 will play that game. Why would ThriXXX make and market Xbox360 game that won't play on Xbox360?
  • Re:Obligatory (Score:2, Insightful)

    by westlake (615356) on Monday December 20, 2010 @08:49PM (#34623474)

    Fuck you, Microsoft. ;-)

    In three words, the reason why no console manufacturer has embraced an AO game.

    if you want this to happen, develop and market a PC game that introduces mature sexual content in a way that is not adolescently sophomoric or pornographic.

    When you've shown that you have moved beyond Custer's Revenge, Duke Nukem and GTA: Hot Coffee, maybe then someone will listen.

    But not before.

  • Re:Obligatory (Score:5, Insightful)

    by publiclurker (952615) on Monday December 20, 2010 @08:52PM (#34623492)
    Well, when you are as sexually frustrated as your average fundie, aggression is the natural outlet.
  • Re:Licensing? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kaz Kylheku (1484) on Monday December 20, 2010 @08:54PM (#34623518) Homepage

    Your example doesn't hold, because you can sell aftermarket parts that fit Ford Mustangs.

    Of course it would be fraud if you claimed if those were Ford factory parts.

    But nobody is trying to claim that some sex game came from Microsoft.

    This is about Microsoft wanting to own the platform after they sold it to you.

    If User A and User B both own instances of the same platform, A should be able to develop something that B is interested in, without some meddling third party dictating what that should be.

    ``B can get the tools and make it himself''' is not a rational argument. What A and B cannot do is engage in trade with regard to the platform.

    Essentially, they are renters, and not owners.

  • Re:Licensing? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CelticWhisper (601755) <celticwhisper@gmail . c om> on Monday December 20, 2010 @09:13PM (#34623666)

    Which is still different from the Mustang case. You can develop, produce, and install an accessory for the car and have it perform how you intended (assuming you're good enough to make it do that) with or without Ford's permission. You can distribute an Xbox game with or without Microsoft's permission, but actually using it for anything more than a coaster (I know, I know, digital distribution) is an entirely different story.

    The difference is that of the two devices you own, the car and the Xbox, one can be modified (aftermarket parts put on) with the expectation of reaping the full benefits of that modification, and the other can be modified (homebrew software written and installed) with no expectation whatsoever of any functionality at all from that modification unless the hardware manufacturer says so.

    This should not be.

  • Re:Typical. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DragonWriter (970822) on Monday December 20, 2010 @10:15PM (#34624116)

    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

    I don't think you understand. "Family friendly" is American corporate/political jargon for "observing mainstream American cultural taboos regarding depictions of sex". Its got nothing to do with friendliness to families.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Monday December 20, 2010 @10:27PM (#34624154) Homepage

    The difference you see is purely religious cultural.

    There's nothing I can say that will change your mind and I'll accept that. Back when I thought like you, no one could have told me anything either. (BTW, I'm so not a hipster. You really should look at my history here before you start making presumptions.) But one day, I hope, you will begin to see bits of reality and start making connections that you refused to see before.

    Your job, as a parent is to teach your children how to be good adults. It is a bad assumption to believe that your job is to teach your children to be good children. To believe so is to ignore the reality that they will be adults one day. So tell them lies about the world they live in. Tell them lies about their own feelings and urges as they grow and develop. All you are doing is preventing them from learning about the world before the world teaches them the hard way.

  • Re:Obligatory (Score:4, Insightful)

    by radtea (464814) on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @03:28PM (#34632532)

    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.

    Empires depend for their existence on the normalization of extreme violence against subject peoples. Therefore the normalization of violence is an important feature of any imperial system, from the Rome to Washington.

    Human evolution has been driven primarily by mate-competition and sexual selection. As such sexuality is a powerful influencer of human behaviour. Make mating opportunities seem scarce and only available via socially approved means and you will have a high level of control of male behaviour.

    To make this happen you will need a high level of control of female behaviour, which is most easily done by imbuing society with a great horror of sex and beating (sometimes literally) into women that if they have sex with men outside of socially approved circumstances they are evil, dispicable people.

    Sexually liberal societies tend not to be particularly war-like. Sexually repressed societies tend to produce male violence in abundance, which finds many channels, from the freelance terrorism of the Nineteen Nitwits (18 of whom were from Saudi Arabia, 1 from Yemen) to the more extensive and organized violence carried out by the American and allied militaries.

  • Re:Obligatory (Score:5, Insightful)

    by radtea (464814) on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @03:34PM (#34632620)

    Normal people do yearn to fuck someone when they see a naked body. There's a bit of a difference.

    You're an American, aren't you?

    Normal people who grow up in societies without the kind of bizzare fetishization and commericalization of sexuality that saturates American society do not yearn to fuck someone when they see a naked body. Sometimes we just look on appreciatively, somethings we think, "Whatever". Sometimes in the right circumstances we are aroused, but only someone who has grown up in a sexually dysfunctional society would think that nudity in any way normally causes people to yearn to fuck someone.

    And only someone who is seriously twisted would think that the desire to fuck someone is generally a bad thing. Would you say that food ads are in any way problematic because they induce a desire to eat?

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