Updated Wed, Jan 02, 2008 by Cody Bye
The sex in Gods of Desire will primarily focus on the interactions between PCs and not NPCs. Rued laughed when I asked her if they will have NPC “sex” characters. “We’ll have to wait and see,” she said. “NPCs aren’t typically the most conversational characters.” I had to agree, but I argued that some players may just want to have sex to have sex.
Kelly was quick to object to my point. “Gods of Desire is not striving to be a pornographic game, even if some people consider it porn. We want to make a mature-minded game for those individuals looking for social/sexual interaction somewhere besides the bedroom.”
And the content in Gods of Desire won’t be limited to straight sex-play either. “We’re trying to be as open as possible with the content, making content for every area of sexual activity, straight, gay, bi, BDSM, furry (anthropomorphic animals); we want to reach out to anyone who’s interested in sex-play,” Rued continued. “But we also understand that many players won’t be comfortable with every type of sex, so we’re setting filters to block some of that content.”
Privacy was the next question on the agenda, and how Kelly planned on insuring private, intimate moments for players. “We’ve been looking at having instanced areas, areas where players can just go to be alone,” she said. But in a sex game, the inverse is also true. Some players don’t want to be forced to watch sex when they’re walking down the street. “We’ll have limitations on that as well,” Rued said. “We’re trying to be very open to the desires of all our players.”
Age verification is also an issue that Kelly has thought about, but since Multiverse is taking care of all the billing, it won’t be a problem, she said.
Rued speaking at the round table session, "Sex in MMOs".
Despite the heavy desire for sex in an MMO format, the attitude at Rued’s round-table discussion was fairly skeptical. While many of the developers saw the benefits of making a sex-based MMO (large market demand, no need to make it a AAA title, a fairly tight-knit eventual community), there was a good bit of hesitation to make a sexualized MMO.
“I could lose my job, the respect of my community, and the love of my family,” one man said. “People wouldn’t want to live near me, if they knew that I made sex-based games.” Another discussion member talked about how she had lived near the porn capital of the world and that no one was ever happy with any of the porn companies, even if they did bring a huge chunk of money to the area.
There were technical arguments as well. One developer stated that he was trying to make a ball-room dancing option in his game, yet when he started going down that path, he realized that the number of animations used to just make the joining of hands and getting into the dancing position was many times that of normal animations. A sex-based game would have even more of these sort of interactive maneuvers…and these would be multiplied even further for any sort of variances put in.
Other designers argued that since the gamers were always going to find a way to interact sexually anyway, why not simply leave in the existing social emotes and animations? They didn’t cost the developers any more money or time, and the players seemed to get by just fine without anything more graphic than a simple kneel or lay-down command.
But even with these problems and arguments, there was also a group of developers within the round table that were eager to bring a certain compromise to today’s MMOs. The social aspect of many mainstream AAA products has gone largely untouched, despite the urging of many to expand the situation, and the developers at the IMGDC were eager to try to bring more emotion to the world.
Even with the skepticism, Kelly will continue to push for more sex and sexuality in MMOs. The skepticism aside, there’s certainly a viable marketplace for a sex-based game and certainly a place for an MMO with that sort of basis. If done correctly, the game could see a whole slew of subscriptions and an audience that want to bring a mature brand of sex into games.
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