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