What is the policy on erotic content?


#1

so, I’ve been wondering, what would the policy be on games that are slightly more… erotic? not full on 50 shades of grey type of things, but where the relationships got a bit more into detail? I have been looking into it and see nothing on the subject, and it has me a bit interested, as no one has gone that way with their stories. (wondering because I’ve come across a fantastic writer, but has a tendency to make his stories more “adult” like, and was gonna recommend a making a hosted games :p)


Questions on storytelling with choices [all opinions welcome]
Language and market
#2

The Forums have stated that they don’t mind at all however you use the ChoiceScript file they’ve provided. That being said, I think you could easily make and put whatever game you want on the FORUMS, but the chances of Hosted Games or Choice of Games hosting the game are pretty low, IMO…

Here are the rules:
"
11. We are generally agnostic on the content that is produced with ChoiceScript. If you produce a game with pornographic or objectionable content, you may post a link to it on the forums. If the discussion about the game becomes objectionable, we reserve the right to censor the objectionable posts and close the thread. We will allow the thread to continue to exist, however, with a link to the game. We invite you, in that instance, to take your discussion elsewhere.
11a. If you are a minor, you should not follow links to games that are explicitly marked as “adult”. If you do follow those links, we take no responsibility for what you find there.
11b. If you are a minor, and you tell us that you are a minor, and you post in a thread explicitly marked as “adult”, we will censor your posts.
11c. If you post a link to a game that has intense horror themes, graphic descriptions of violence, explicit sexual content/erotica/pornography, rape, etc, please mark “adults only” in the title of the thread. Or ask a mod to add it to the title of the thread.
"


#3

So CoG would be unlikely to host a game with erotic content? But it’s okay to have games full of gangsters, hit men, and killing (not to mention dragons)? Is this a self-imposed restriction or something having to do with the industry in general?

This is more than a rhetorical question, as both games I am working on have “romance” threads that could lead to more than kissing. Is the expectation that I have to end the scene with something like “Now we draw the curtain, gentle reader, on what then transpires”, in the style of Victorian novels? I can certainly write the emotions and downplay the plumbing, and I probably would in most cases anyway. But it would be good to know whether I have a choice in the matter.


#4

@cottage14
‘“Now we draw the curtain, gentle reader, on what then transpires”’ lol xD!


#5

@cottage14 Games with killing in them are deemed ok because they don’t go into detail, usually something like “You aim your gun and pull the trigger, and BAM, a hole appears in his chest, and down he goes”. No real detail is given (though I’m sure the reader can imagine), and certainly nothing that wouldn’t be in any popular book. What you’re describing is decidedly different.


BREACH - Crime Thriller WIP (UPDATED! 2-October-2018!) (700k+ Word)
#6

Yes, @Fantom has a point. It’s not like most stories give details about the arteries being destroyed and blood flowing down the shattered bones and grisly, mangled flesh…0.0

Plus, @cottage14, as I’m sure you know, most violence in stories are acceptable because there NEEDS to be conflict for there to be a plot.


#7

@cottage14, CoG have considered starting an erotica line, which would be branded differently from the rest of the games.

In general, they’ve nothing against plumbing and no policy on how explicit either sex or violence can be; but given the Apple store’s censorship, there are some pragmatic limits on what they’re going to publish as CoG or Hosted, given the share of sales that come from Apple.


#8

I think there can be tons of conflict without violence, @Samuel_H_Young. I am afraid of the Hollywood-taught standard that the only resolution to conflict is to punch the other guy in the nose. I am all for conflict: conflict is you and me in a room, and you want A and I want B and which one of us, if either, will get what we want?

@fantom, I am not sure what level of detail I am thinking of, or how it would map to your example of “pull the trigger, and BAM, a hole appears in his chest…” I am really unsure whether your example is the equivalent of the “gentle reader” ending I referenced earlier, or of “you move closer to this remarkable person, whose fingers/pseudopods/feeding mouth parts even now are working to undo the endless buttons, ties, and hooks of your elaborate Court costume, and take him/her/it in your arms/tentacles/force field…”


#9

Thank you, @Havenstone: good to know.

In general, I have found writing about the details of a sexual encounter to be much less engaging than writing about how the two (or more) characters feel about what happens, and how it changes their lives. Writing about the plumbing seems to me to be as likely to advance the story as writing about the process of rubbing up the baseballs before the game, or growing the garlic for the salad you hope to have in September. However (and this is a big however), there are people who would really get a thrill from reading about any of these processes, and writers who would like to write about them.


#10

@cottage42
Right. But I’m not talking about “violence is the answer.” I’m certainly not Hollywood-taught, either. But sometimes it’s necessary; Gandalf and Aragorn didn’t win wars by politely debating with orcs and Luke didn’t defeat the emperor by explaining to him the errors of his way. It depends entirely upon the exposition and the type of story someone wants to tell.

“growing the garlic for the salad you hope to have in September.” lol xD!


#11

@cottage14 A truly excellent game allows the player to choose how they resolve the situation, whether it be through physical violence or some other means. I myself always try to outsmart my opponents without firing a shot whenever possible. If the player wants to shoot their way through a situation, then that should be an option. Or if they’d rather avoid the fighting altogether, then that should also be an option. The point being, players shouldn’t have their options limited because somebody else has a higher ideal of how a situation should play out.

@Samuel_H_Young Double bonus points for LotR and Star Wars references :slight_smile:


#12

@fantom
I totally agree. In Life of a Mobster, I only committed an act of violence once and I plan to play again without any violence, and I was never injured myself. But violent options should definitely be there, just as their counterparts should.

:slight_smile:


#13

@Havenstone
Yeah, that’s exactly what I forgot to mention, about Apple not allowing explicit content on their store.

@Fantom
Even the violence games don’t go into that much detail; there’s such a thing as pornographic violence. Something like Dexter, but with a lot more focus on the actual killing, would probably be considered too intense, even if there was no sex at all.

When violence (or anything) becomes your story’s fetish, it’s probably not going to make it through the Apple store. You might make a killing on Amazon, though. 50-shades-of-grey moms will buy it if they knew it existed. *shudder*


#14

Jason said on another thread.

“We hope to create a third imprint at some point, alongside Choice of Games and Hosted Games, which would be for the publication of erotica. As you may or may not know, romance and erotica have been huge drivers of book sales for decades. That said, such a third imprint would have similar standards to Choice of Games: egalitarian, feminist, and sex-positive.”

I don’t recall a game which has been in the erotica/romance genre yet. I would think that it depends on exactly how graphic the sex is, and how much there is in the game as to whether or not Choice of Games will publish it or not.

Actually I’d suspect that if the game is sex-positive, egalitarian, feminist, there shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

As has been said above the issue is more Apple and their store than it is Choice of Games itself. And their rules are

  1. Pornography
    18.1 Apps containing pornographic material, defined by Webster’s Dictionary as “explicit descriptions or displays of sexual organs or activities intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings”, will be rejected
    18.2 Apps that contain user generated content that is frequently pornographic (e.g. “Chat Roulette” Apps) will be rejected

#15

Huh; no version of Hosted Games for erotica? Interesting.

I can actually see why erotica would make sense to be locked to a particular sex, however, because the sex scenes really would be twice as much work with PCs of both sexes (the specific sex acts really being different). Also, of course, because erotic material is usually targeted towards a specific gender and sexual orientation.

Also, if Hosted Games are rejected by Apple, can’t they be just left off of the App Store (with corresponding loss of profits)? Or is there an Apple strongarm policy that prevents that?


#16

@Ramidel I don’t remember the specific numbers, but sales from iOS is something like 80% or so, so it’s in their best interest to pander their release model toward what Apple deems acceptable. Of course, now that they’re starting to release their games on steam, perhaps the larger audience will make it more financially viable to release on other platforms content Apple deems inappropriate.


#17

sort of on this topic, here’s a useful article on writing the “hot” scenes. http://io9.com/how-to-write-about-sex-without-being-boring-1605514153


#18

Having read a few erotic story games before, I often find myself skipping over the more specific details of which bit goes in where and trying to find out where the actual story or character development picks up again. I too am often more interested in how all the bits in bobs make the characters actually feel. When it gets too specific in the details it ends up feeling more like someone giving instructions than an actual story. I think most of the erotic stuff I’ve read has probably been kinda crappy though.

In most of the CoG games I’ve read there’s been lots of caressing of various body parts, and kissing, but it never got to the point of explicitly describing genital interaction.


#19

@fantom
Apple accounts for 60% of sales, btw.


#20

For how NOT to write sex scenes, it’s always worth reading the shortlist for the Bad Sex Award (for worst sex scene in a novel with literary pretensions – trying to write something erotic yet original often yields hilariously bad prose). Highlights from 2013:

“In celebration of our breakthrough fourth star, statisticians the world over rejoice.”

“Had I been a doll, she might have twisted off each of my limbs, and sucked the knobs until they glistened, and drilled her tongue into each of the holes.”

“For me, Victoria was like a deep nocturnal forest that I strode through without knowing where I was going, through woodland, amid ferns, under tall shivering trees, far from any path. There were noises, puddles, odours, dampness, shapes that vanished, treetops overhanging our bodies.”

And lots of others that, er, must have seemed like a good idea at the time.