POLL Swearing in games


I’m making a game where a few fight scenes happen and usually when people are in pain they curse colorful profanities to help cope with the pain. Of course, this also goes for mc dealing with annoying characters, insults towards hated characters, or dealing with the fact the mc has to fix everyone’s problems.ect.

  • Straightforward cursing(F***,S***,ECT)
  • Substitute words(Shucks,Stars,ECT)
  • None what so ever.NOPE.
  • Depends on the genre .

0 voters


I would say whatever feels authentic for your characters.

In modern settings (think urban fantasy, even romance), most people curse at least once in a while, but that wouldn’t always hold true to other settings or genres.


I voted for “depends on the genre”, but I think really, it depends on what kind of game you want to write. :man_shrugging:

One problem I found is that when I invented a curse word (“frink”), I found it very hard to actually use it in serious situations, because it just sounded silly to me… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


here let me make another one real quick.


I personally don’t mind swearing and often swear a lot in real life, but I find less is more when it comes to foul language. A character who doesn’t swear at all but suddenly drops a curse would make the reader go “oh dear, this is serious.”

And it does depend on the genre. A high fantasy world might not have the same foul language as a realist story.

Plus you do want to be careful as not offend people. Typically people who don’t mind aren’t going to take offense if there’s no swearing so it’s probably still best to use if sparely, if at all.

Edit: but if I had to pick between actually curse words and fake ones I typically prefer real ones… unless it’s just in the character’s nature to use fake ones.

  • Cussing bugs you while reading.
  • Cussing is fine.
  • Cussing s fine ,but I’d perfer not to see it.

0 voters


IF your going for swearing may want to say contains a lot of bad language or somthing


Disclaimers couldn’t hurt.


I agree with the people saying it’s more about when the work swears rather than how exactly it swears–but one thing I don’t see on the poll is just writing around it? “Person A swung their fist and Person B cursed loudly as it hit their face,” “Person C swore at Person D as they left, and Person D made a face at the unflattering description” that kind of thing. Which feels more versatile anyway, and doesn’t risk alienating readers who might take issue with having the words written out.

There’s something to say for the blunt use of a curse word enhancing the tension of a scene, or adding some weight, as @Mewsly said, but I also feel like I’m a lot more liable to find a clever avoidance of a curse word more memorable than just using the word


Seconding the “depends on the character” notion here.
Likewise the “X had a few choice words to say about that” approach can have a greater impact than actual swearing, depending on the situation.


Side note, now I want a story with a grizzled, tough cop who uses fake swears like “shucks” and “darn” unironically


And this is why I made it possible for the player to set his own swearword of choice in the game. Can’t please everyone.

EDIT: Actually, I did it just because Heroes Rise bugged me so hard I couldn’t stop thinking about it.


"Shucks. " He groaned clutching the fresh hole in his side, blood dribbled into his stubble. The snow did little to ease his pain as he collapsed onto the hard concrete. This city used to be his , now it was eating him for lunch. “Darn, this is the case that takes me out.”
@HomingPidgeon So basically it depends on situation and character in that case.

sigh I hate being dumb…:sob:
I noticed that and actually really appreciated that in the game. I was considering doing something like that.


Whoops, hit the wrong option and it wont let me change it. I meant to put it depends on the genre although I tend to think less is more in most cases. I’ve read WIP’s where every page contains multiple curse words and it completely looses any impact and personally annoys me as being unnecessary. If you’re writing to be inclusive with a younger audience or want to make sure you don’t offend, particularly if it’s a fantasy or futuristic world, substitute away :smile:


lol yeah I get your point, but “shucks” is a real substitute and everyone knows it’s very mild.
Has anyone seen red dwarf? They swapped out S**t for Smeg. You get used to it. (I’m guessing the people who make smeg refrigerators weren’t happy, but asides from that…) I’ve seen other made up words work ok as well.

I agree with @HomingPidgeon on this one :slight_smile:


I’d prefer letting the MC choose if they want to curse. The MC may be stoic and not want to let its enemies see their pain.


Substitute words, the cheesier the better. If I can’t cheesy swear, then gosh darn it all to heck, what’s the point?


In a comedy, I would want ridiculous substitutes.
In a serious or grim-dark setting, I would want straightforward curses.
In a historical setting, I would want the curses to at least sound like they are old, as modern ones are immersion breaking for me.

I also really enjoy when a sci-fi or fantasy story has it’s own slang and curses, tailored specificly to it’s cultures.


Really? Most of the four letter words I can think of are pretty venerable…


you’d be surprised how old f*ck is