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News & Features Discussion  » General: MMOWTF: Adult MMORPGs

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  Dana

Novice Member

Joined: 1/07/04
Posts: 2425

 
OP  11/06/06 3:18:00 PM#1

Are mainstream adult oriented MMOGs like Age of Conan and 2Moons a true step forward for the genre or a simple gimmick? Dan Fortier explores the question in MMOWTF.

The previous incarnation of the 2Moons publisher, Acclaim, was famous for their mature content titles. Having released games like BMX XXX and video game conversions of franchises such as South Park and WWF, they are not newcomers to producing these kinds of titles. Even if this is a new company under an old name, it comes as no shock then that they are very supportive of this venture. The game itself is a conversion of a Korean game called Dekaron which is billed as an extreme action game. It seems like the tempo of the game will be carried over and I can imagine that doing the English voice-overs for the profanity would be one of the many tasks in localizing this to a Western audience.

I'm not sure what the effects of keeping kiddies out of the game will do for this title, but I salute them for their guts either way. I can only wish the 2Moons team luck in their venture to gain a following here, since Korean games aren't really my cup of tea. Perhaps a slash 'em up MMO will be more successful than the more grind oriented conversions of the past, because we definitely don't need another RF Online.

The full article is here.

Dana Massey
Formerly of MMORPG.com
Currently Lead Designer for Bit Trap Studios

  User Deleted
11/06/06 3:51:10 PM#2

Best article he has done to date.

  Jade6

Novice Member

Joined: 7/06/04
Posts: 429

MMO session a day keeps doctor at bay.

11/06/06 4:24:55 PM#3

It never ceases to amaze me how "adult" and "mature" mean sex + violence, as opposed to, for example, complexity and depth. Oh well, I'm a European, so I'm pretty sure that I will never really understand you yanks anyway.

I will say one thing though: crying blue murder every time a computer game shows some skin (or blood), while at the same time most of your average rap music videos have more p0rn in them than all computer games to date combined, plus lyrics that glorify violence, seems a bit strange to me; yet kids can watch those as much as they like. Or they can watch your army kill people for real in Iraq. Not pointing fingers here, just saying the stuff is already out there.

  Theutus

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/18/04
Posts: 558

Achiever 33.33%, Explorer 73.33%, Killer 80.00%, Socializer 13.33%

11/06/06 4:28:50 PM#4
Responsible perants censor what they don't want their children to see on TV using channel locks and such. Just because its there doesn't mean you have to let them do what they want.
  Distortion0

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/05
Posts: 663

11/06/06 4:41:11 PM#5
Your title disapoints me. What is the difference between a Gimick and Innovation? I mean, often innovation is a gimick! Look at hybrid cars: higher miles to the gallon and being environmentaly friendly is both an innovation adn a gimick.
  Jade6

Novice Member

Joined: 7/06/04
Posts: 429

MMO session a day keeps doctor at bay.

11/06/06 4:43:03 PM#6

Originally posted by Theutus
Responsible perants censor what they don't want their children to see on TV using channel locks and such.
Doesn't that pretty much eliminate everything that's on TV?
  Distortion0

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/05
Posts: 663

11/06/06 4:46:45 PM#7

Originally posted by Jade6

Originally posted by Theutus
Responsible perants censor what they don't want their children to see on TV using channel locks and such.
Doesn't that pretty much eliminate everything that's on TV?

It depends on how twisted your values are. Some weirdos actually think that the Wiggles is good for their child
  Cowinspace

Novice Member

Joined: 11/17/05
Posts: 668

There are no stupid questions. There are, however, a lot of inquisitive idiots.

11/06/06 4:47:06 PM#8
As someone already said adult/mature does not equal gore, graphic nudity and foul language. It is in fact the exact opposite as most of these 'mature' games only really appeal to kids.

To me a mature is dealing with issues and complexities that most children would not have the abilities or experiences to comprehend.

  Vociferor

Novice Member

Joined: 9/21/06
Posts: 98

Witty quotes are the Sanitary Engineers of the Comic World.

11/06/06 5:15:41 PM#9

 

I think Dan is quite right to suggest that the mature content in AoC will be to add a 'grittier' feel to the game.  Robert E. Howard's world was brutal to say the least, very much reminiscent of darwinian theories (survival of the fittest) and of the Neitzsche style of brutally realistic cynicism.  Making a cosy, cuddly version to tone it down and make it acceptable to parents would not do this world justice and would alienate another group of customers anyway.  Not sure if CPI (Conan Properties International) has had any influence on the mature rating or not but the Conan fans would be 'none-too-chuffed' I imagine.


Originally posted by Cowinspace
As someone already said adult/mature does not equal gore, graphic nudity and foul language. It is in fact the exact opposite as most of these 'mature' games only really appeal to kids.


As Cowinspace posts, I agree, I think the mature content label would have the effect of appealing more to young teenage boys than any other demographic group that play MMO's and the issue, as Dan quite rightly raises, is:

How can you be sure that someone on the other side of an internet connection is in fact an adult if they are determined to play?

It will be interesting to see the effects of the mature rated games.

  Dajmin

Novice Member

Joined: 4/29/05
Posts: 54

Xfire: Dajmin
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11/06/06 5:51:48 PM#10

I sort of agree with Vociferor in that I think teenagers would be more drawn to something that is a little risquee than they would to something with a 3+ tag. But at the same time I've always been very anti-corporate censorship and don't think something should be removed just to appease the wig-wearing old-school 90-year-old bureaucrats - after all, they're not the majority market here.

The fantasy genre has always been about buxom wenches wearing very little and musclebound guys running about in a loincloth waving a sword around. You can't have weapons without violence, and a fantasy game without weapons isn't living up to what people want from the genre.

So release whatever product you want, stick an advisory label on it (T or 16+ or whatever the ESRB uses these days) and see what happens. I think more people will be turned away by inaccurate or unbelievable content than they would by a bit of wanton violence. On the other hand, if it's just gore for the sake of gore then it's a bit pointless.

As for trying to figure out the real age of the person at the other end of the connection? That's not the company's problem. If the store sells a game without asking for proof of age, then the parents allow their child to use their credit card without asking what it's for, then they have absolutely no comeback if that child then has nightmares or needs therapy. I'm of the school who believes parents should be responsible for their own children - is that silly?

And don't even get me started on the whole issue of "Oh, little Johnny was such a good little boy until he played <violent game>, then he broke into our shed and shot up the town," Grrr...

dajmin Xfire Miniprofile
  chriswsm

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/07/04
Posts: 388

Never make anything idiot proof as someone will make a better idiot.

11/06/06 6:16:36 PM#11

When questions like this are raised I always give the same answer.  Time will tell.  Lets revive this thread 3 months after AoC is released and see if flesh of a bare or bloodied nature has had an effect on the gameplay and general enjoyment.  Much easier to reflect on the past than guess the future.

Flesh is fine as long as the gameplay and atmosphere is also of sufficient quality.  Boredom will soon set in otherwise.

If we are going to have adult MMPORPG's then I would love to see something along the lines of GTA rather than the already crowded market pertaining to Sword and Sorcery titles.

 

 

I used to visit this site a lot however in recent years it has become the home of negative forum posts, illogical opinions and tantrums so I visit less often.

Played or Beta'd: UO / DAOC / Horizons / EQ2 / DDO / EVE / Archlord / PirateKingsOnline / Tabula Rasa / LOTRO / AOC / Champions / Darkfall / Mortal Online / DCUO / Rift / STO / SWTOR / TSW

  Vociferor

Novice Member

Joined: 9/21/06
Posts: 98

Witty quotes are the Sanitary Engineers of the Comic World.

11/06/06 6:47:31 PM#12

Originally posted by Dajmin

I sort of agree with Vociferor in that I think teenagers would be more drawn to something that is a little risquee than they would to something with a 3+ tag. But at the same time I've always been very anti-corporate censorship and don't think something should be removed just to appease the wig-wearing old-school 90-year-old bureaucrats - after all, they're not the majority market here.

The fantasy genre has always been about buxom wenches wearing very little and musclebound guys running about in a loincloth waving a sword around. You can't have weapons without violence, and a fantasy game without weapons isn't living up to what people want from the genre.

So release whatever product you want, stick an advisory label on it (T or 16+ or whatever the ESRB uses these days) and see what happens. I think more people will be turned away by inaccurate or unbelievable content than they would by a bit of wanton violence. On the other hand, if it's just gore for the sake of gore then it's a bit pointless.

As for trying to figure out the real age of the person at the other end of the connection? That's not the company's problem. If the store sells a game without asking for proof of age, then the parents allow their child to use their credit card without asking what it's for, then they have absolutely no comeback if that child then has nightmares or needs therapy. I'm of the school who believes parents should be responsible for their own children - is that silly?

And don't even get me started on the whole issue of "Oh, little Johnny was such a good little boy until he played , then he broke into our shed and shot up the town," Grrr...



Hehe, don't get me wrong Dajmin, I didnt mean that I thought the game was going to warp kid's minds or that it would be FC's fault if kids play the game.  You're quite right to say that it is the responsibility of a child's guardians as to what they are exposed to or playing.

What I meant is that it is all really academic when it comes to the age rating of the game.   

As you quite rightly suggest, it is completely ridiculous to suggest that it could be enforced with any accountability put upon the company.  Also, Impossible to regulate with any reasonable degree of assurance unless the child has strict, technology savvy and attentitive guardians. 

On the other hand though, after giving it some more thought, why are FC making a big deal out of this fact now? 

Being obligated under law (not even sure what obligations there are with this regard) to have the game rated is one thing but the game is not a finished project yet and I assume that closer to the release date it will be given to the relevant body(ies) to place the final age limit(s)/warning(s) on the game.  I'm pretty sure the game hasnt gone into open beta yet so the age verification part isnt going to be a big deal or a legal obligation just now.  

So what is the number 1 most likely reason as to why, for a considerable length of time now, FC have been claiming it will be a mature rating?  I suspect it is probably to hype it up and keep teenage boys interested while they anticipate the release.

But to give some impartiality to my view: 

Another possibility could be that they released the information so that they do not disappoint anyone who will be under the age threshold of the game by waiting till nearer the release date to announce the mature rating.  Personally, I don't buy that side of the coin though.

I'm a 24 year old red blooded young male and the mature rating will not be one of the reasons that makes me try AoC if I do, as Dan said, you can only decapitate someone so many times before it loses the appeal.  I can't speak for everyone my sex/age but that is my view.

I was a little unclear as to why the age verification was an issue to me.  This should have explained it a bit better for me.  I just don't see what the point in it is as it is largely un-enforcable.  Placing age restrictions on online games will have even less of an impact than age restrictions on movies.  Just a token gesture, I guess, that FC seem to be exploiting for additional advertising in my opinion.

  severius

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/10/04
Posts: 1510

11/06/06 7:18:40 PM#13
Whether or not it makes for a stronger community, a more mature community, and a more entertaining game is something that we will all have to judge after these games get released and running on all cylinders.  I think that it's a nice idea to hope for a mature rated game having a more mature crowd but I am not entirely sold that that will be the case.  Now, just speaking from my own experience, some of the worst people I have come across in games like wow etc weren't the prebuscents... it was the 18-25 crowd that runs around acting like 10 year olds without their ridalin.  It has been quite a long time since I was 25 and under, but I dont remember acting nearly as bad as they do now.

On another note, lets realize (at least in the case of Age of Conan) that Robert Howard's books had a good amount of sex, drugs, and the ultra-violence.  With the pressure being put on the ESRB there is no way that funcom could stick to the background without having those 3 things running around in the game without getting a mature rating. 

  DocSpectrum

Novice Member

Joined: 10/25/04
Posts: 26

11/06/06 8:21:28 PM#14

I would pay GOOD money for a server that had an age restriction on it...25+ sounds like a good number to start with :)

Seriously though, In the long run the advisory stickers really don't do much to keep kids from buying a game.  Most parents are not even aware of such things until they hear about them on CNN or the nightly news...ie Grand Theft Auto.  The shock value of the content will initially wear off then you are left with one thing...do you have a good game or not.  Regardless of the age of the player that is what will keep them paying every month. 

I applaud the makers of AOC for taking this step, now how it is implemented and what steps they take to insure that the population is who they want it to be will be interesting to see.

 

drogrim Xfire Miniprofile
  Robbgobb

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/03/03
Posts: 413

11/06/06 8:25:17 PM#15
Best so far. Just glad that the difference in culture is brought up. I don't understand most of how USA works even though I am born and raised here. I look at other countries and think how great some of the views are there compared to here. What makes something mature and adult is the main views I look at as well.
  delateur

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/06/04
Posts: 157

11/06/06 8:43:56 PM#16

I find it interesting that most games rated as "mature" are not all that appealing to those who possess true maturity. Maturity, to me, is a measure of a person's ability to relate to the world while still remaining independent and choosing their own path. Immaturity, conversely, is what I see as a general lack of faith in oneself and a tendency to follow the whims of whatever social crowd that person is drawn to. Mature subject matter may very well involve acts of sex, violence and profanity, but does so in the context of a larger message, one that is ultimately redeeming to the human beings receiving it. I would love to see more TRULY mature games on the market, games that you might want to restrict younger children from playing, simply because they have not evolved past the parroting stage of their development and are not yet able to make conscious choices or be moved by the more subtle messages that mature content might offer when viewed in the context of the medium. This is more the failure of the culture involved that tries to shield children from "taboo" subjects and convince them that any contact with such things is unequivocably bad. Education needs to take place, and at some point, it needs to be done with more mature content, as eventually children will become young adults and begin asking difficult questions where the answers are not always clear-cut or pretty. MMOGs have the ability to provide some of that education, and I, for one, would like to see a company take a mature rating seriously and start providing more than visceral content to warrant an "M."

  VideoXPG

Novice Member

Joined: 1/13/06
Posts: 267

"Human stupidity knows no bounds" ~Albert Einstein

11/06/06 10:46:51 PM#17
I for one find throwing nudity and tons of blood and gore a step more into the realm of immaturity. Look at the people who play games such as Grand Theft Auto, teens and "adults" that look like they forgot to grow up. Sure, there needs to be some line drawn to regulate who sees Violence and Nudity and those who may be "too young" to see such things, but that certainly is not an issue of maturity. Let alone it is just that sort of content is what carries the game.

Let's take a game such as Grand Theft Auto and say, A game with a dark theme to it such as SMT: Nocturn. Both games certainly have content and themes that there is an age limit for, but would anyone recomend a game like SMT with its story and theme to someone who just wants to roam around killing people like in GTA. One could put GTA as a "mindlessly killing" game. An example of it's "mature: content being just a smokescreen.

That's just my 2 cents on that issue, the article at hand was an interesting read, but truth be told on the matter, putting mature/dark themes is really part of the game world, the game itself should be fun but in say a game like Conan, it works well with the world Funcom is trying to create. After all, sure the game may be fun, but especially with MMOs, the world needs to appeal to the player in order to keep them immersed in the game world.
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  Sturmrabe

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/08/03
Posts: 993

TO VICTORY OR VALHALLA!

11/07/06 12:02:45 AM#18

If one mentions things is a rant about overt bloodyness and nudity and whatever trying to appeal to the M rated crowd and also mentions a specific game like Age of Conan, one should also include a little context.

Though nothing overt was said negatively, from some of the posts here I think some people are lumping AoC into the egregious/gratuitous M content crowd, and that really doesn't apply.

In fact the only way to stay true to the Hyboria of Robert E. Howard is by having it be a gritty, lusty, brutal, savage, amoral world.

And the fact they Funcom has done that, so far as we can tell up till now (we'll see what happens in game), without either going over the top and getting all "Second Life" cyber nor dumbing it down ala the Conan movies, gives it a special place in the M rated catagory, as it is truly M=FOR ADULTS, not M=for grown up teenagers.


Of all that is written, I love only what a person has written with his own blood. -Nietzsche

  Mischiff

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/26/06
Posts: 173

11/07/06 12:46:09 AM#19
First, I'd be happy if they just had adult servers for games like WOW, EQ2 etc, doesnt mean they have to have adult content, just would be nice to be playing with adults who for the most part might be a lot more matchure. Maybe even Barrens chat wouldnt sound like it does .  Ive quit good games because the community was bad. This doesnt mean it would clean it up, but i would bet on it making a difference. Having the choice would be nice IMHO.

Secound, how to make sure that those on an adult server were actually adults, good luck with that .. i dont see how its possible to totaly make that happen.

Third, maybe they could just move annoying people to the same server... hmmmm 
  Jizhak

Novice Member

Joined: 8/12/06
Posts: 47

11/07/06 3:36:50 AM#20
Sex and violence != mature.

I find that mature people usually oppose those things. A mature game from my viewpoint would emphasize such things as complex economy and complex relationships.  Things that you do ingame should affect your gameplay later
(popped my mind : virtue stuff in Ultima IV).

edit:typo
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