Is this inappropriate?


#1

Hello, peoples of the community!

We just began developing a fantasy adventure game. There are two of us creating it. There is a certain amount of romance in it, and the PC gets a chance to sleep with a character who is intoxicated, but not unconscious. The PC isn’t necessarily drunk, so this may classify as rape. The character the PC would sleep with still consents (although I’m aware of relevant laws), but actually choosing to use the opportunity will lead to a loss in alignment (basically reputation too) making the character perceived as more of an evil person making other NPCs respect the character less when or if they find out. This option will also lead to a HUGE loss in the relationship between the PC and the character and she will hate the PC throughout the game. This option is intended for the vilest of characters only. (The vilest characters of any gender.)

It is important to note that we do not promote the behaviour, in fact, the game punishes the player, for doing it, but we would still present it as an option. If you think this scene would be inappropriate or insensitive we welcome all suggestions and constructive criticism.

This may sound worse than it really is, but we don’t want to risk writing something that is inappropriate or insensitive to the issues of real life victims.
The game is quite comical and light hearted.

Here is the part I’m worried about. The drunk lady is named Lorna.

(Choice)
-Help the captain out of her armour.
Don’t worry, she’s surely wearing something under. (Lorna +5) (1)
-Look around the room. (2)
-Leave. You’ve done your part. (3)
(Label) (1)
You take off her boots, tassets, bracers and chest plate with great care. Under that thick armour is a tunic and leggings, covering her, but not much else. Now that she’s free from the choking grip of steel she seems to be much more peaceful. The task is done.
Before you could do anything else she opens her eyes and sits up slowly.
“Whoa, what happened? How did I… get to my room? And just who… the f*ck are you?”-she still seems to be pretty drunk.
“You fainted so I helped you to your room.”-you try to explain.
“And why did ya take my armour off? Ya dirty pervert.”-she giggles-“Bet you wanted to see me naked, didn’t you?”
“What? No, I would never…”
“Don’t ya lie to me. And don’t get any idea. Not like I would throw myself to anyone. I am a woman with very high… standards.”
(Choice)
-(if you ordered house speciality)
You remember how much she loves the house speciality. You could use this to your advantage. (Bed Lorna) (1)
(Lorna relation -1000)(alignment -10)
-You could use your charm to change her opinion. (Bed Lorna) (2)
(Cha check)(alignment -10)
-You leave the room. You don’t want to exploit a drunken woman. (3)
(to Label main)
(Label)
(1) “I like the house speciality.”
“Oh no. You meet all my standards.”
“So? What do you think of me now?”
"Well stay for the evening and find out."
Lorna stands up from the bed, slowly walking up to you. She suddenly kisses you. Her soft lips caress yours. You then embrace her, gently taking off her tunic as you both flop onto the bed.
This afternoon will be one to remember.
(to Label main)
(2) “How do you know I do not meet your standards?”
(Cha<15)
“Get out of my room you prick.”-she laughs profusely-"Not even in a… century."
This battle is lost. Defeated you have no choice but to leave the room and continue to look around the village.
(to Label main) (Lorna -3)
(Cha>15)
“Well… call it female intuition… or I dunno.”
“Come on. How will you find out if you don’t even give me a chance?”
"I suppose I should give you a chance."
Lorna stands up from the bed, slowly walking up to you. She suddenly kisses you. Her soft lips caress yours.
"But if you tell anyone, yer a dead man."
You then embrace her, gently taking off her tunic as you both flop onto the bed.
This afternoon will be one to remember.
(to Label main)


#2

Don’t include it at all, IMO. I can’t think of a single thing something like this could add to a game (especially a comedic and light-hearted one) other than the possibility of making people uncomfortable. And anybody who wouldn’t be uncomfortable with it aren’t the people who need to be taken into consideration.

I’m not saying people who aren’t squeamish about that kind of thing (can’t relate, unfortunately) must be evil or something, but they don’t need to take priority over people who are squeamish about it. Your options, as I see them, are “include it and possibly hurt people” or “don’t include it and definitely don’t hurt people.” And I’ve always got to go with the option that leads to least amount of potential harm.


#3

Thank you for your time answering my question!


#4

I agree with @androthropes it really dosen’t add anything and there are otherways of being evil besides something that would upset the player .


#5

A good point, but it seems to be such an obvious option that missing it would’ve felt like a bit of a hole. But you are probably right.

Thank you for your time answerign my question!


#6

It really depends on how important this interaction is to the rest of the story. I mean if this is a turning point for the characters personality you may want to leave it because you can always rework the scenario. For example, I think you could get the same effect you wanted with having the PC just kiss & make a move on the the captain. Then have her sober up enough from the shock of being kissed to slap the PC and kick them out of the room. Or you can have some one else walk into the room, and stop the action. So you get your moment of were the PC would have the chance to make an ass out of themselves but eliminate the opportunity to take the action very far.


#7

That is an extremely good idea! I hope you won’t mind that we will most probably use that idea.

Thank you for your time answering my question.


#8

Happy to help!!! :wink:


#9

Looking at the options, it seems a little lopsided that there are two choices to take negative action with the drunk character and just one choice to not–it makes it look like the game is encouraging the reader to try that action, like it wants to make sure there’s a way for the player to succeed at it, or make sure there’s an option to do it that stays in character with the way the player has designed their MC.

I agree with @androthropes’s comment completely, but if you go with @Moonglow’s suggestion and let the MC make a move and have it not go anywhere then including more options that aren’t taking advantage (and then only having one option where you do) would make it more clear that the negative action is more extreme and less desired, rather than the intended course of action. Reading through that, I know I’d want an option to try and take a little more care of her–make sure she gets in bed and stays there, maybe leave a glass of water near the bed for when she wakes up? Just some kind of nice gesture, that I assume would be more indicative of friendship than just getting her there and leaving quickly.


#10

My opinion: Do not include, it’s unconfortable and even more so when you consider that this is an actual issue that even nowadays some people are (sadly) still condoning.

Also, a general tip when you want to include options that are morally wrong: not only the consequences of the actions matters but also the way these options are presented. In this case there are two options that could be considered morally wrong and only one that is a morally right choice, and the “bad” options are at the top while the “good” one is at the bottom. The way it is presented kinda looks that you are encouraging the character to choose the morally wrong option, it is just a small detail but it can make a big difference.

I think that the situation could be perceived better if you follow these rules:

In situations where you want to present moral choices (and you want to make a clear distinction of which ones are evil and which ones are good):

  1. The number of good options should be equal or higher than the number of evil ones.
  2. The options should be presented in a descending order: the first one should be the “best” and the last one the “worst”.

For example:

  • Option A: do the right thing because goodness.
  • Option B: do the right thing because some other reason.
  • Option C: do the wrong thing and justify it for some reason.
  • Option D: do the wrong thing because evil.

Of course this is a very generic rule and there can be exceptions. For example if your character is already following an evil route it would make more sense to hide or reduce the options that could present a chance for redemption. And it’s only my personal opinion, YMMV.

But anyway, in this case it really doesn’t matter because as it has been discussed above, it is not a good idea in the first place, DON’T DO IT.

This idea is a lot better, consider it.


#11

See the thread about “are there some choices players shouldn’t have”.
https://forum.choiceofgames.com/t/are-there-choices-that-a-game-shouldnt-give-a-player-was-are-games-inherently-trivializing/?source_topic_id=29472

You as the writer need to clearly show that the choice was bad and that takes a lot of writing skill. I personally never understood why NPCs feel the need to undress MC’s out of their day clothes to make them more comfortable; if the MC is too drunk or tired to notice being undressed and sometimes redressed in night clothes, they were probably already comfortable enough to sleep. I’d like an explanation of everybody’s reasonings and train of thought to educate and see if the intent was evil.

I also don’t get repeatedly getting blackout drunk when alcohol can lead to bad decisions. Why is the drunk person in trouble when they drink and drive and kill someone, but not responsible for who they have intimits with while drunk? I don’t approve of having relations with random drunk people, but logic is nice to help those who don’t share your opinion and would choose that, without making the game too preachy.

You just have to be an extremely good writer to pull off sensitive subjects and I don’t see how this fits in a lighthearted story.


#12

I dunno, it seems strange that this would be such a red flag when MCs get the option to commit far more dire crimes in many other published games without much complaint.


#13

First off, this really belongs in the thread @Sovereign2Lilith linked but since this is dealing with a specific WiP I’ve decided to leave it as its own. The entire subject is covered in Choices to Avoid When Writing a CS Game

Now I’m going to write a Great Wall of Text be warned:

The reason that any choice in a CS game is red-flagged is the following (this is CoG policy btw):

In this particular case: if you are giving the player a choice “to rape or not to rape” it trivializes rape.

There is also the additional fact that the genre that @Zederikus is writing their game as a power fantasy. I’m going to quote a better writer then myself to explain why this matters:

So, to answer your question @hustlertwo, the reason why this draws red flags is both because the choice “trivializes rape” and as a power fantasy, that idealizes the reader, the author would be allowing rape to become part of an idealized MC. That is a real problem.

With this major issue defined, I’m going to quote myself here and my position on the author writing a “trivializing-choice”:

This position as applied to every choice is not held by everyone. My friend and fellow author believes rape is choice a game should never allow. Here is my argument agreeing with him:

Finally, if you read all that: Thank you. It is a lot to read but this is a very important concept to master in game development. Here is a ;tldr version for those not wanting or able to read the entire post as stated much more succinctly then I can:

In other words: It is one thing to describe the mindset of a rapist but it’s another to try to put the reader in that mindset, while still keeping both author and reader’s grasp of their own human decency.


#14

This won’t be popular but ADD IT. Now don’t misunderstand that I condone this but this is a choice based role-playing game and whether the choice good bad or grey giving the player total control over what they want to do is their bread and butter. Plus I can always respect someone with the guts to follow their creative choice despite popular opinion


#15

There is a special place in Hell for people who take advantage of those who cannot give consent.
I agree with @Kingkunta. Allow your readers to choose their own path.


#16

I agree strongly with this. I would add that we live in a society where a rather unfortunately large number of people think date rape is no big deal. Serial date rapists tend to think that everybody does it, and everybody knows it. Including an option like this will throw gasoline on a tire fire.

To be clear, if you want to submit this game to our Hosted Games label, we’ll ask you to remove content like this from your game.


#17

@Eiwynn’s post got me thinking that indeed a choice like “rape or not rape” does indeed trivialize the issue, as it present both options as comparable.

But the fact that @Zederikus wants to make emphasis in the fact that:

Leads me to believe that they don’t see the option as comparable, but that they believe that one is indeed better than the other and that the game should present it as such. And now I can’t help but wonder what is the purpose of all of this that would make you consider to add an option like this in the first place?

Is it just a plot device to lead the player to an specific path? Do you want to send a message or a moral? Does it have any relation with the theme of the story? Because if that is the case, maybe the question is not so much whether or not that kind of scene is inappropriate or not, but how can we reach the same end in a way that doesn’t create such an uncomfortable scenario and is attached to such unfortunate implications.

Please @Zederikus, would you mind if I ask you to elaborate further what is the whole aim of this choice?


#18

In my humble opinion depending on how it is handle I don’t think this setup would trivialize rape. I say that because if MC is shunned or met with severe consequences for their actions I think it would do the exact opposite of trivializing it.

Plus if you compare rape to murder there are stories that reward you for killing. Do those stories trivialize taking a life? Maybe depending on the situation and the reader.

Ultimately, you are going to have to decide if this scene makes or breaks your storyline and if this actions can really help build the characters your creating. I would advise any writer to not add something just for shock value. Any major scene likes this needs to add texture and/or dimension to a story for it to work well within the context of the story.

I do like @MockTurtle idea of having 4 choice to deal with the situation. But I would probably set it up like this:
A) Extremely Helpful & Caring Action
B) Moderate Helpful & Somewhat Caring Action
C) Non-caring but unharmful Action
D) Harmful Action

Examples:
A) you could sit with them & give them some water to drink until they sober up
B) get them home & make them comfortable then leave
C) basically drop them off & be on your way
D) try to take advantage of the situation

If the MC choose option D) you could then list ways the MC tries to take adavatage… Such as 1) Make a Move take - physical advantage 2) Tries to gain info to blackmail the captain - through nude photos or other classified info about the captian or 3) Try to Gain info about other events or characters in the story 4) or something else, basically whatever works in the story the best.

And then if the MC does chose to take physical advantage you can cut the action short by ways I suggest earlier. Thus ending the possibility of a rape situation entirely.


#19

There is a consensus in society that murder is wrong and bad. People who commit murder are generally put in jail. A game that lets you murder people isn’t as harmful because everyone already knows and acknowledges the fact that murder is wrong. Murderer’s lawyers do not say “well, sure, my client did stab that person, but look at what he was wearing! That person was just asking to be killed! Really, this whole thing is the dead guy’s fault!” There is, unfortunately, no such universal understanding that rape is wrong, and that intoxicated people can’t consent. People who commit date rape often get light sentences as people make excuses about why the victim was actually at fault all along. Look at what happened recently with that swimmer. A game that lets you rape someone is harmful because of the cultural context that surrounds this particular crime.

Edit:
Let me be more specific: let’s say that in this game, you have the above rape option and an option to murder someone. Both options have negative consequences. No one playing through murder option will say: “I don’t understand why everyone hates me and the guards are after me! I didn’t do anything wrong!” There are people who will play through the rape option and refuse to accept they did anything wrong.


#20

That’s not lighthearted and if you provide additional bad choices and scenes, but no additional good choices and scenes, that favors the bad.

There is also no option to say that it’s not MC’s job to enable and babysit drunk people and just do nothing and carry on with regular tasks, or call the police if I think they need care or would be freaked out by waking up and seeing a random stranger/acquaintance in their house.

Lighthearted games have silly evil characters like Team Rocket from Pokemon or any other children’s tv or book villains.

A better less controversial way to take advantage of a drunk person is draw on their face with a marker (a permanent one if you’re truely evil) or do a lighthearted prank.