Sporn Wars: Ban This Sticky Filth!

By Alec Meer on June 19th, 2008 at 2:59 pm.

Not rude. Unless you squint a bit.

Now that we’ve all finished scrubbing our dirty, dirty bodies clean after looking at all those obscene Spore creatures, there’s one question on our lascivious lips. What’s EA/Maxis going to do about all these phalluses and buggerers and gaping anuses? Spore is, after all, a family game. It surely wouldn’t do for little Johnny Evolution to discover a vagina-beast has wandered into his game.

There’s slightly contradictory reports about what’s going on. Regular RPS visitor (and fellow NCTSC2 witness) Acosta kindly tipped us off to PC Gamer US revealing that one of their creatures, a ‘Boobalicious’, has been subject to a ban hammer. “[violation : Inappropriate Content –Creature [violation type:Nudity] [Asset Name:Boobalicious]” reads the angry robo-mail they received from EA. Cripes. It’s like prohibition, but with more floppy, multi-coloured sex organs. We’ve also spotted that a few of the videos we posted yesterday have been pulled off (snigger) Youtube, but that’s as likely Youtube’s moderators as it is EA’s.

So we contacted EA for comment, and their community support team’s near-instant (in a “we’re saying exactly the same thing to every bastard who asks us about this” kinda way) response was this:

“Whether it’s modelling clay, dolls or crayons, a small number of people can be counted on to use it for something inappropriate. SPORE is a great creative tool with parental controls that allows users to flag objectionable content and keep it out of their game.”

Which isn’t enormously explanatory, and entirely sidesteps the Boobalicious banning question, but does at least suggest a mass crackdown isn’t likely. Regardless that I’d probably substitute “a small number of people” for “almost everyone who’s every had a naughty thought”, the general reading-between-the-lines message seems to be live and let live. Which, I think, is the right answer. We don’t want to be censored in our own games. Cunningly, they’re putting the onus on players for controlling sick filth, which might suggest EA are somehow covered in the event that there is an unfortunate interface between the innocent eyes of a child and the perverted filth of red-blooded PC gamers. Only time, and hysterical right-wing media, will tell.

But really, the question will likely go unresolved until the full game’s released and there’s a genuine sense of to what extent profligate gamers’ cock-monsters will appear in other players’ Spore sessions.
Meantime, we’ll just keep on giggling every time we type ‘Sporn’.

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59 Comments »

  1. Ian says:

    To think…. inappropriate images available on the internet!

  2. Flint says:

    This is actually the one game where I would like censored content. I guess I’m just too serious to enjoy having dick-critters in my galaxy.

  3. itsallcrap says:

    The question is, what kind of creature is best at killing a cock-shaped species?

    Work that out, and we can pretty much rule at the later stages of this game….

  4. Ian says:

    How will the population of our universe with other content work? Is it automatic or do we choose/filter the ones we want?

  5. Rook says:

    Is there a way you can flag your own creation as adult?

  6. CrashT says:

    Surely if you are old enough to “get” that it’s inappropriate content then you’ve already been “corrupted” so it’s too late anyway.

  7. Theory says:

    Who says they’re being banned just to protect kids? I don’t want that crap in my game either.

  8. jph wacheski says:

    Im more interested in how I keep crappy design out of my spore universe,. not sure how they will handle these user generated issues. Shall be interesting to see.

  9. much2much says:

    Obvious solution.
    You have to flag it yourself as adult.
    If you don’t you lose your submission privileges.
    Then you spend the rest of your life whining how your rights as a customer have been violated.

  10. Butler` says:

    You guys can put your cock-monsters in my session any day.

  11. AbyssUK says:

    **Warning adult content**

    @itsallcrap your mum is good at eating cocks but unfortunately it doesn’t have enough flesh in the creature creator to make her. :(

    /me gets coat

  12. cyrenic says:

    They’ve mentioned being able to “subscribe” to certain users to get their creations in your game, so if you don’t want that stuff in your universe you’ll probably want to disable random seeding in your universe and only subscribe to friends and well known users that create high quality creatures.

  13. Noc says:

    In other news, I’m stunned and astounded that you folks didn’t use my headline.

    But yeah, Cyrenic and much2′s solutions seem viable.

  14. JamesOf83 says:

    It’s a tricky one really. Spore is clearly a family friendly game and if I wasn’t ‘In the know’ I would be quite worried that something like the ‘wheelbarrow sex alien’ type of creation could appear on my kids game.

    Then again, when I was a kid I remember using an Art Attack game on the Megadrive to draw naked ladies and I turned out ok I suppose :)

  15. Alex McLarty says:

    My cock monster will snarf your fanny hound anytime, sucker…

  16. Calabi says:

    I expect they’ll start firing of the nukes as soon as the Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells spot Spore and begin dropping their payloads.

  17. Cooper says:

    Was the ban for the name, rather than the content, maybe? (It seems likely that EA have an auto-ban for the inclusion of various words in the names of creatures).

    I hope EA allow for some form of community-flagging of content. That allows easy parental control by blocking all flagged content, and allows me to play the game without random occurences of walking genetalia.

    (Not that they aren’t hillarious when posted on the net; there’s no shame in immature giggle glands.
    But, as with ‘nude patches’, it’s kind of a game-killer)

  18. essell says:

    Theory says:
    “Who says they’re being banned just to protect kids? I don’t want that crap in my game either.”

    Agreed.

  19. Dan says:

    The other option, if you get these cock monsters in your universe at the Space stage, is to just nuke their planet from orbit, Death Star style.

    “… as if millions of willies cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.”

  20. Caiman says:

    What kind of creature is best at killing cock-shaped creatures? Why, Vandellia cirrhosa of course! The candiru, a parasitic fish that swims up the urethra and embeds spines into its walls whilst feeding off the blood. Guaranteed to send all cock and wang creatures running / shuffling / wiggling in the opposite direction.

  21. Xirex says:

    They absolutely knew this was coming, and so they’ve built in methods for screening and censoring creations by human eyes before the creatures ever filter out to other users. I read in an interview that they’re doing this not only to filter out dongmonsters, but also to make sure the universe isn’t filled up by terrible noobish “my first monster” abominations.

  22. dartt says:

    INTERGALACTIC COCK FIGHT!

  23. CrashT says:

    “but also to make sure the universe isn’t filled up by terrible noobish “my first monster” abominations.”

    But aren’t such creations a big part of the appeal of Spore? I might not want giant penis creatures, but nor do I want all possible creations censors by somebody because they don’t think it’s a good creation. Spore is all about the bizzare abominations, surely?

  24. Lukasz says:

    I wonder what is the ratio of sporn to normal monster? Whether they are pretty common or actually a rare thing.

  25. Skalpadda says:

    I can understand if people don’t want stuff like this in the game since it doesn’t fit in (oh god, there’s a horrible joke there..), and sure, it’s immature and silly.

    But seriously, would anyone be really offended by a cartoonish penis? I mean.. really?

    And indeed, it should be easy to filter out. Hell, even if they don’t get the community to sort through it, hiring a couple of people should still let them sort out thousands to use every day.

  26. dog says:

    you mean like a goatse creature ? that would be horrendous…

  27. Jonathan says:

    Shouldn’t they ban Lego too?
    http://www.death-from-above.com/bgwillis/lp/series1.html

    Playdoh as well
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/surlybratt/415633067/in/set-72157600073058744/

    Wise man say any medium will be used by man to distribute filth.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UW2RZIMcNuo (there was a better clip but I can’t find it)

  28. fluffy bunny says:

    A Hitler-creature? Offensive? Haha. That’s kind of silly. Hitler’s been done to death in comedy already.

  29. wcaypahwat says:

    Censorship! Boooo!

    Well, like they said. Whatever the medium, people are gonna do it. But yes, I’d say tags and filters and disclaimers would fix most of the problem.

    Besides, its a game about biology and evolution, right? It’d be kinda silly if humans got the ban hammer for having wangs.

  30. Ginger Yellow says:

    I hope they have a setting so that you import only flagged content. I want a universe of deviant monstrosities to conquer!

  31. Vollgassen says:

    Is genocide possible in Spore? Once I become the supreme race I will use cosmic rays to annihilate all cock and vagina creatures throughout the galaxy.

  32. nakke says:

    Wait what? “[violation type:Nudity]“? Reeeally? I’ve not found a way to put clothes on them yet.

  33. Smitty says:

    @ Flint.

    I can just see it now… “INVASION OF THE DICK-CRITTERS”

    Truly I think defending your world from a slobbering horde of vagina and dick critters would be an extremely entertaining evening.

  34. The Fanciest Of Pants says:

    @Vollgassen: Genocide is entirely possible. You can terraform planets, and as far as I know, destroy them completely.

    Can’t wait to remake the galaxy in the image of my master race. Those I don’t disintigrate I will set my home planet’s deadliest predators upon for my own amusement. That or set them to work in the Acid Mines. :>

  35. Doogie says:

    Might as well take the crayons, pens, pencils away from these “sick” people as well. Better yet, take the paper away from them too. Just to be safe.

    I find the whole situation amusing though. As if no one at EA saw this thing coming.

    It’s not the end of the world though. It’s still a game. And I’m pretty sure this won’t get out of control… unless Jack Thompson gets the game.

  36. Tak says:

    Jack *can’t* get into the game. I think he has pretty well put the nails in his own coffin, and then threw in the first shovel of dirt too.

    I guess I need to try this co…creature creator and see what the fuss is about.

  37. Sev3rity says:

    Everyone is afraid of seeing bouncing pee pee’s on legs, but no one cares that you can systematically wipe out an entire race/planet without a second thought…

    Just seems backwards…

    As for me, it’s a game. Walking Willies? Toothy Vag Monsters, and blowing shit up, I can’t wait.

  38. The_B says:

    “Everyone is afraid of seeing bouncing pee pee’s on legs, but no one cares that you can systematically wipe out an entire race/planet without a second thought…”

    Somehow I think if Hitler was reponsible for an excess of porn rather than genocide, we’d be seeing a very different kind of first person shooter by now…

  39. Eric says:

    “I wonder what is the ratio of sporn to normal monster? Whether they are pretty common or actually a rare thing.”

    Judging by the Sporepedia, the sporn creatures are a pretty small percentage. I browsed through fifteen or twenty pages and only saw one obvious penis monster.

  40. terry says:

    Maybe they could just consider such specimens an evolution of their original concept (enabling everyone, no matter how smallminded or tedious, to make their own image)

    edit: Thork Viscocombed has become an Engraver. Is there a nude patch for Dwarf Fortress?

  41. machineisbored says:

    dog says:

    “you mean like a goatse creature ? that would be horrendous…”

    Sorry.

    It’s been done.

  42. Arnulf says:

    Spore itself sounds a bit obscene to me…

  43. dog says:

    @ machineisbored

    i actually saw that one in the other thread on here after i posted… not that bad tbh….

  44. Jochen Scheisse says:

    Oh glorious age to be a child in and glorious age to come to have psychotherapy in.

  45. Kaltano says:

    Myself I’m less worried about the content that’s objectionable because it’s somehow inappropriate, I’m more worried about the stuff that is objectionable because it’s uninteresting.

    Speaking of interesting content, I’ve added a section to my blog where i showcase my better creations as well as others I’ve found that I like which you can find at spore.blogtano.com. No sporn, I promise, RPS is already a great place to find that. :-P
    Any fellow ex-Asheron’s Call Addicts (or current ones) might find my first post of my Olthoi Soldier interesting. Find a way to put that game in the new engine Turbine!

  46. Skalpadda says:

    Well, no kid is going to get upset, insulted or mentally scarred by anything I’ve seen linked so far. Their parents might be, of course, but that’s another matter.

    What’s in good taste is always debatable, and I hope they’ll make some sort of flagging system that lets people set up the sort of content they want themselves (not only to filter out genitalia :P). In any case, I look forward to see more imaginative and creative things, like the ones linked above :)

  47. Jimi Hendrix says:

    will the daily mail get involved?!!

  48. JasonH says:

    “The Internet is for Sporn!
    The Internet is for Sporn!
    So create your dick and doubleclick,
    the Internet is for Sporn!
    For Sporn!”

  49. Dominic White says:

    One person on the Something Awful forums just recieved a week-long ban from using the Sporepedia, handed down by EA.

    Why? Because he had created an anatomically correct sperm cell. Last time I checked, that was just a tiny blob with a tail, but apparently it’s suggestive enough to bring down the hammer.

    I somehow doubt EA are going the ‘live and let live’ route here.

  50. utubesuckbad says:

    i say let the human body part in spore run wild and free it just good humor and oyu know what? screw the kid this is a adult games base on a RTS so kid will surely give up the games at the rts part since it going to be the long and hard to so it so here my sporn video lol
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=16Idw-80Hsk cockasasur rex
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=bENwQaD1T_s TITZILA
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=0CS4qaQJgM8 PEDOSAUR lol enjoy =D