Identity and Expression, Virtual World Platforms

Users and Simulated Sex: Age Verification Uncertain for Launch of Spore

For all the hand-wringing over the years about sex in IRC, sex on the Web, sex in virtual worlds, and all the creepy dangers and terrors awaiting us, I figure it’s about time to just finally throw up our collective hands and say: where there’s a way, there’s porn.

This time, instead of it being the Lindens defending the presence of sex in a virtual world, it’s the execs over at EA Games - defending um, Spore sex, which arrived with its Creature Creator release:

“Within 24 hours …gamers had gone creature-crazy, designing millions of critters that were all thrown into a database and shown on a YouTube channel for the public to see.

But scrolling through the database — past the three-legged sea horse, past the seven-eyed wildebeest and the half-motorcycle-half-pig — revealed something many users didn’t expect. Buried among the more wholesome attempts were two-legged dancing testicles, a “giant breast monster” and a four-legged “phallic fornication machine,” for starters”

According to CNN
this is a downside to, well, letting people be people:

“For EA, the developer of “Spore,” it’s the downside to tapping into the booming user-generated content arena, which has made sites like YouTube, Flickr, MySpace, Facebook and Second Life so popular. These games and sites often allow people to create and host their own content in addition to creating cartoon personas, called avatars, for themselves.

Many of the popular user-generated content sites have faced similar challenges in trying to control obscene material. In Second Life, users can read Slustler, a cyberporn magazine, or buy programs that allow them to have animated sex with other characters.

“Whether it’s modeling clay, dolls or crayons, a small number of people can be counted on to use it for something vulgar,” said Lucy Bradshaw, “Spore’s” executive producer.”

Some call it vulgar, others call it a romping rollicking good time that brings in new users!

Only question is whether you’ll need to age verify if you want your phallic fornication machine to populate a planet.


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