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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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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 20, 2010 @07:36PM (#34622696)

    Xbox is a family friendly games and entertainment console

    Well how do they think people get families? Duh.

    • Yes, how are we supposed to work the procreation thing if we can't access the manual first?
      • ...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~ .
  • by QuantumG (50515) * <qg@biodome.org> on Monday December 20, 2010 @07:36PM (#34622700) Homepage Journal

    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.

  • Has really taken on new meaning these days

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

  • 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]

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

        • 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!

        • by DarkOx (621550)

          I am not really trying to take a position here one way or the other. I don't even know that our societal acceptance of explicit violence and rejection of explicit sex is actually sensible but I do sorta identify with the following thinking.

          Violence is part of the human story as is sex. Depictions of violence make most normal people glad they are not experiencing it themselves and while it might be fascinating to see depictions of most people are not inclined to engage in it and thankfully many will never

    • 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 brunokummel (664267) on Monday December 20, 2010 @07:49PM (#34622840) Journal
    you just know that there must be someting in the License of their products that states: "No one can screw our costumer, but us!"
  • 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.

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

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

      • 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.

      • 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."

      • When people say "let the market decide" they generally mean, don't intervene and see what happens. In this case, Microsoft is intervening in the market by refusing to certify certain games. The market exists between game developers/publishers and consumers. Saying "let the market decide" means that developers/publishers should be allowed to sell any game they want without MS intervention.

        Back on topic, if MS stopped intervening, and let "the market" decide, AO sex games may very well disappear....but th
      • "Just rate the games and sell them dammit, let the market decide."

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

        Sure, in the same way that the people of dictatorships decide their leader during elections--when popular opposition candidates are deliberately kept off the ballot.

    • by jdastrup (1075795)
      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.
      • 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.

      • by Homburg (213427)

        Censorship is the use of power to prevent the dissemination of material considered objectionable. Market dominance is a form of power, and when a large proportion of movie theaters refuse to show NC17 films, or stores refuse to stock AO videos, or publishers refuse to license AO games to be used with their hardware, they are using their market power to prevent material they dislike being distributed, that is, they are censoring. They may have good reasons and a legal right to censor, and they don't have the

  • 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!
    • by Surt (22457)

      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.

  • 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 abilit
  • 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.

  • by SplashMyBandit (1543257) on Monday December 20, 2010 @08:04PM (#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.
  • '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.

  • by hjf (703092)

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

  • 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.

    • by Barny (103770)

      Ok, seriously, mod this fucker up.

      All the people arguing semantics and it will all be irrelevant.

  • 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 ehrichweiss (706417) * on Monday December 20, 2010 @08:33PM (#34623312)

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

  • by grouchomarxist (127479) on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @12:40AM (#34624878)

    Kinect Sutra [penny-arcade.com]

Overload -- core meltdown sequence initiated.

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