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Dev Q: Project Eternity and "Mature Content"

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Thinking about the more recent fallout games, and some of the other topics here, it does bring a point: why enable cannibalism, dismemberment and the carrying around of body parts, but feel so compelled to have bloody matresses with bound hands and feet, but oh no, the thought of a rape victim - dead or alive - is just so terrible. (It is, but in comparison it seems like they could have included it just to add to the terrible reality of the fallout universe).

 

They did include it. Cook-Cook?

 

True, I had forgotten about him. I imagine the people of the fallout universe would be far more hardened to such things anyway - though I suppose the NCR citizen grew up in a more protected place. I wouldn't want an over emphasis on such topics; they are terrible things. I suppose Fallout 3 serves my point better - several implications where any actual evidence is absent. In BG2, this was handled in a good way; Imoen didn't want to talk about it, so you're never certain, but also wouldn't probe. In Fallout 3 it is like they started to create a grim, dark, jaded reality to life, then took a step back and said "whoops, that would be a step too far." Sexuality and nudity were included on some level, but not nearly to the extent violence and simple brutality were.

That said, the more exact comparison of violence versus sexuality/nudity would be in the ability to gib an NPC's head, but then have them wearing sleepwear regardless of what you do (save implementing mods). Or the Nova scene in Fallout 3, where all you do is lay with her - not even a blackout scene. I think nudity and sexuality are certainly different from violence, blood and gore, and admit I think some people shouldn't be exposed to it as much as others. The issue is how much do you allow the setting and immersion to suffer because of this, and how much to cave under the pressure of people who might think mixed dancing is sexually provocative, or that including any real-world weapon in a game will inspire a shooting.

 

Additionally, critics and raters do seem, at least locally, to be far heavier handed when it comes to nudity or sexism than violence. Take for example the Twisted Metal kotaku article. I'm not saying I hope Project Eternity will have rape, especially not player initiated/involed rape, or even cannibalism - I was some tasteful consistancy in death scenes and such, and consistancy in the level of cruelty revealed ot the player. I trust Obsidian to be tasteful and level headed; I trust game critics and ESRB/PEGI raters and the like to be biased in what they think people of varying ages should be exposed to, and that this is not necessarily reflective of a game's story or majority of content in any way.

Edited by UncleBourbon

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The multiple definitions of mature is not exclusive of each other. You can have deep story, philosophical debates, racism, sexism, class warefare, drugs, etc in, right besides, sex and violence. The witcher 2 pulled it off, however looking at some forms of manga/anime, and they pull it off really well. Akira, ghost in the shell, neon genesis evangaline, Perfect Blue, etc

 

One thing I liked was the freedom your character had in fallout 2, you could actually sleep with the mob boss's wife, the farmers daughter (forced shotgun wedding), offer it as an alternative payment method the wife could pay your character to help free her husband from jail, hell even become a porn star. Sure, that last one may seem silly, but I loved that we had the option of doing that. And that is the point, I want options like this to show up again. Not just about sex, but about any mature things in the game. At the end of the game, I want to feel that PE earned that mature in the title. I do not want to scratch my head at the end and wonder why it has an M when it is clearly would be a teen rating or below, which I feel most modern mature games are and just have the M slapped on as a PR stunt to sell the game when its really a T game.

 

One point, this game will not have an ESRB nanny rating board looking over it, this is the time to release your creative freedom and push the envelope, not play it safe, because I think the vast majority DO NOT want a safe game. They want a FUN game and a game they will be talking about years to come.

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I think I'm always going to feel a bit hesitant in regard to including mature themes and realistic depictions when they have the potential to actually hurt someone playing. I was talking in the recent thread on feminism and the depiction of women in PE about how arguments exist that sexism towards my female PCs might be more realistic, but it's at the cost of hurting my enjoyment of the game, because I get enough of that in real life. And that's... that's something that's annoying, but it's not likely to seriously upset me, even if that is the way the developers go. But something that could potentially trigger someone who's been raped themselves? I'm much less comfortable wanting to say that this is obviously a logical consequence of the world, this is realism, we're discussing mature themes here so let's put it in!

 

I definitely think it can be handled sensitively, and I'd also be concerned if sexual violence was treated as something that's shameful for those who'd experienced it to talk about, but I don't think it can help but be something of a minefield, as well. One thing I've been thinking about recently is the way that you can draw comparisons, have oppression and violation in different forms than we see in our world, and use that to explore more sensitive issues - and how the whole souls device could act as a great vehicle there.

 

Look at Dragon Age 2, which I think did this well - it had actual rape, both implied and pretty damn obvious, but it also had blood magic and possession, where the violation was to the people's wills (which is arguably more creepy, for that matter). There were some brief "is this gay thing too weird for you?" conversations, but there was also the entire mage rights issues, with lines about how (paraphrased from memory) "a hundred years from now, someone like me can love someone like you." So I think it's definitely possible to find a middle ground that lets you explore the emotionally charged issues, has in-universe realism, and lowers the risk of leaving anyone feeling like they've been punched in the gut with an unpleasant reminder of their traumatic experience. And moving away from taking our culture and its specific forms of prejudice as the default, as necessary, is a good step in doing so.

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I've always considered things like doing your tax returns and going to bed early because you need to get to work in the morning to be mature themes. I wonder if PE will explore either of those.

 

Haha, that's hilarious. Seems like I saw somewhere that the developers meant "mature" in regards to the story and using themes such as slavery, racism, etc. etc. - not sex. Even if sex is included I have no problem with it if it's handled appropriately and actually adds something to the story.

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I agree fully on that point, sparklecat. My bit of a rant was a response largely to earlier portions of the thread, where someone asked why it seems "mature" in video games generally defaults to sex and violence. I think violence itself doesn't need to be excessive, either - and I tend to like situations where it can be avoided through dialog or careful consideration of in-game events (tenpenny suites was always a sort of good/bad thing for me, in fallout 3). But when violence and non-sexual cruelty is displayed to what amounts to inhuman extent of cannibalism and such, and sexual topics are so blackballed it just seems like the real-world bias played a bit too big a part to me. Unless there are some setting-related reasons for it, that is.

Edited by UncleBourbon

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I think I'm always going to feel a bit hesitant in regard to including mature themes and realistic depictions when they have the potential to actually hurt someone playing. I was talking in the recent thread on feminism and the depiction of women in PE about how arguments exist that sexism towards my female PCs might be more realistic, but it's at the cost of hurting my enjoyment of the game, because I get enough of that in real life. And that's... that's something that's annoying, but it's not likely to seriously upset me, even if that is the way the developers go. But something that could potentially trigger someone who's been raped themselves? I'm much less comfortable wanting to say that this is obviously a logical consequence of the world, this is realism, we're discussing mature themes here so let's put it in!

 

I definitely think it can be handled sensitively, and I'd also be concerned if sexual violence was treated as something that's shameful for those who'd experienced it to talk about, but I don't think it can help but be something of a minefield, as well. One thing I've been thinking about recently is the way that you can draw comparisons, have oppression and violation in different forms than we see in our world, and use that to explore more sensitive issues - and how the whole souls device could act as a great vehicle there.

 

Look at Dragon Age 2, which I think did this well - it had actual rape, both implied and pretty damn obvious, but it also had blood magic and possession, where the violation was to the people's wills (which is arguably more creepy, for that matter). There were some brief "is this gay thing too weird for you?" conversations, but there was also the entire mage rights issues, with lines about how (paraphrased from memory) "a hundred years from now, someone like me can love someone like you." So I think it's definitely possible to find a middle ground that lets you explore the emotionally charged issues, has in-universe realism, and lowers the risk of leaving anyone feeling like they've been punched in the gut with an unpleasant reminder of their traumatic experience. And moving away from taking our culture and its specific forms of prejudice as the default, as necessary, is a good step in doing so.

 

I am sorry, but I strongly disagree. I have heard and seen this argument before. Horrible thing happened to friend X(or themselves), we should not include or talk about it in media/games because they may relive or is reminded of the horrible moment. Do not think I am insensitive, I do feel for your friend and others like them. However, that is not a good enough reason to not include it. I know people who have been shot, were abused, are addicts, and many other horrible things to them. We might as well remove all that as well because it might traumatize them. No, I am sorry what happened to them, but anybody that affected should not be playing/watching media that has it in it and should honestly get serious help.

 

Sorry if I seem a little crass, but I have seen plenty of white knights/feminists pull the R card (not accusing you of this), when trying to force their ideology views down everybody's throats. They use it too shame the opposition to shut up them up and accuse people that oppose their views as rape supporters. Its sickening they would use a serious traumatic event for their own ideology games and they are the worst scum for doing it.

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I think I'm always going to feel a bit hesitant in regard to including mature themes and realistic depictions when they have the potential to actually hurt someone playing. I was talking in the recent thread on feminism and the depiction of women in PE about how arguments exist that sexism towards my female PCs might be more realistic, but it's at the cost of hurting my enjoyment of the game, because I get enough of that in real life. And that's... that's something that's annoying, but it's not likely to seriously upset me, even if that is the way the developers go. But something that could potentially trigger someone who's been raped themselves? I'm much less comfortable wanting to say that this is obviously a logical consequence of the world, this is realism, we're discussing mature themes here so let's put it in!

 

I definitely think it can be handled sensitively, and I'd also be concerned if sexual violence was treated as something that's shameful for those who'd experienced it to talk about, but I don't think it can help but be something of a minefield, as well. One thing I've been thinking about recently is the way that you can draw comparisons, have oppression and violation in different forms than we see in our world, and use that to explore more sensitive issues - and how the whole souls device could act as a great vehicle there.

 

Look at Dragon Age 2, which I think did this well - it had actual rape, both implied and pretty damn obvious, but it also had blood magic and possession, where the violation was to the people's wills (which is arguably more creepy, for that matter). There were some brief "is this gay thing too weird for you?" conversations, but there was also the entire mage rights issues, with lines about how (paraphrased from memory) "a hundred years from now, someone like me can love someone like you." So I think it's definitely possible to find a middle ground that lets you explore the emotionally charged issues, has in-universe realism, and lowers the risk of leaving anyone feeling like they've been punched in the gut with an unpleasant reminder of their traumatic experience. And moving away from taking our culture and its specific forms of prejudice as the default, as necessary, is a good step in doing so.

 

I am sorry, but I strongly disagree. I have heard and seen this argument before. Horrible thing happened to friend X(or themselves), we should not include or talk about it in media/games because they may relive or is reminded of the horrible moment. Do not think I am insensitive, I do feel for your friend and others like them. However, that is not a good enough reason to not include it. I know people who have been shot, were abused, are addicts, and many other horrible things to them. We might as well remove all that as well because it might traumatize them. No, I am sorry what happened to them, but anybody that affected should not be playing/watching media that has it in it and should honestly get serious help.

 

Sorry if I seem a little crass, but I have seen plenty of white knights/feminists pull the R card (not accusing you of this), when trying to force their ideology views down everybody's throats. They use it too shame the opposition to shut up them up and accuse people that oppose their views as rape supporters. Its sickening they would use a serious traumatic event for their own ideology games and they are the worst scum for doing it.

 

I don't think that rape should be entirely removed from a game because some people may be sensitive to it, and I think there's a place for depictions of it in games.

 

But I don't want the experience of my character being raped to be a necessary consequence of selecting "female" in the character creation screen. That's wrenching a huge bit of character development out of my hands, and it's doing so in one of the most unpleasant ways possible. It may add realism to the game, but in my opinion, it doesn't add fun to it. All it does is take away my opportunity to have a bit of a power fantasy in my game, at least unless I resign myself to playing a gender other than my own.

 

I"m particularly opposed to making things specifically unpleasant for female characters because these sorts of changes make the game far less accessible for people who always play them or who would play them on their first playthrough, and it seems as if many realism advocates want these sorts of options for later playthroughs when they've become bored with other content in the game.

Edited by eselle28
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No, I am sorry what happened to them, but anybody that affected should not be playing/watching media that has it in it and should honestly get serious help.

 

How are they supposed to know that there is rape in the game? They know going in that there is traditional fantasy violence, so people bothered by that are unlikely to buy the game. But unless Obsidian announces that it includes rape, there is no reason for the person buying it to assume that it would (it's not a standard feature of the genre, after all). This is especially important to note since rape is pretty common in real life, so there could easily be a significant number of rape victims playing the game.

Edited by eimatshya

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When I think of a mature game, I think Showtime, HBO and not Disney.

 

While this is true, its also not quite what I'm hoping for when I hear 'mature content.'

 

HBO and Showtime have a habit of making shows (for HBO, Rome and Game of Thrones spring to mind) which are quite entertaining but are actually undermined by gratuitous sex and nudity. I have no problem with sex and nudity that feels natural and advances the plot. I get annoyed, however, when I feel like I'm being pandered to.

 

If I want soft-core porn, I've got the Internet, guys. Only give me sex when the scene calls for sex, not to fit some kind of sex and nudity quota.

Edited by Death Machine Miyagi
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When I think of a mature game, I think Showtime, HBO and not Disney.

 

While this is true, its also not quite what I'm hoping for when I hear 'mature content.'

 

HBO and Showtime have a habit of making shows (for HBO, Rome and Game of Thrones spring to mind) which are quite entertaining but are actually undermined by gratuitous sex and nudity. I have no problem with sex and nudity that feels natural and advances the plot. I get annoyed, however, when I feel like I'm being pandered to.

 

If I want soft-core porn, I've got the Internet, guys. Only give me sex when the scene calls for sex, not to fit some kind of sex and nudity quota.

 

Thankfully, I don't think we're at much risk of having that sort of sex and nudity in the game, if only because the graphics involved aren't going to make for terribly exciting nude scenes!

 

(Actually, I'd argue that 3D graphics don't do a very good job of showing nudity or sexuality either, which is the primary reason I'd rather games lean more toward subtle than graphics when it comes to nudity and sexual encounters. I don't mind watching those sorts of scenes in theory, but in practice, they tend to be more humorous or awkward than sultry.)

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I agree fully on that point, sparklecat. My bit of a rant was a response largely to earlier portions of the thread, where someone asked why it seems "mature" in video games generally defaults to sex and violence. I think violence itself doesn't need to be excessive, either - and I tend to like situations where it can be avoided through dialog or careful consideration of in-game events (tenpenny suites was always a sort of good/bad thing for me, in fallout 3). But when violence and non-sexual cruelty is displayed to what amounts to inhuman extent of cannibalism and such, and sexual topics are so blackballed it just seems like the real-world bias played a bit too big a part to me. Unless there are some setting-related reasons for it, that is.

 

Yeah, agreed. However, the sort of mature content I do like is the sort that makes the player question their own preconceptions and evaluate their own prejudices. My favourite games tend to be ones in which my character has their own worldview challenged via external events, because that generally leads to my aformentioned preference. But I don't think showing the sort of realism and inevitable consequence that we have in our own world does that in itself, which is why I'm not too bothered if we fail to stay strictly realistic in that sense; I like my contentious issues to be included for some narrative reason, not simply shock value (in the worst case) or as an appeal to realism.

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The sort of mature content I do like is the sort that makes the player question their own preconceptions and evaluate their own prejudices. My favourite games tend to be ones in which my character has their own worldview challenged via external events, because that generally leads to my aformentioned preference. But I don't think showing the sort of realism and inevitable consequence that we have in our own world does that in itself, which is why I'm not too bothered if we fail to stay strictly realistic in that sense; I like my contentious issues to be included for some narrative reason, not simply shock value (in the worst case) or as an appeal to realism.

 

That's pretty much what I want from "mature" content: to have my world view challenged and to have to examine interesting philosophical or ethical quandaries. I'm more interested in fantasy as a genre for the exploration of ideas than as a way to translate real life problems verbatim into a world of elves and dwarves. That's not to say that real life problems can't be represented, I just tend to be more interested philosophical exploration than in punishing rapists. I mean, I enjoyed slaughtering Caesar's Legion in Fallout:NV, but I found PS:T, KotOR II, and MotB to be more thought provoking and, as such, ultimately more memorable and fulfilling in the long run.

Edited by eimatshya

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I'm ok with mature content, like brothels, slavery and such. Just don't make it in Dragon Age 2 style, with clothed caricature sex and Twilight-like moral problems.

Fallout 2 get it right - drugs, slavery, wenches. That's post-apocalypse for you, not some fairy land. Medieval setting is no better.

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Thinking about the more recent fallout games, and some of the other topics here, it does bring a point: why enable cannibalism, dismemberment and the carrying around of body parts, but feel so compelled to have bloody matresses with bound hands and feet, but oh no, the thought of a rape victim - dead or alive - is just so terrible. (It is, but in comparison it seems like they could have included it just to add to the terrible reality of the fallout universe).

 

They did include it. Cook-Cook?

And all of Caesar's Legion?

 

But they made it cartoonishly evil instead of practical like it would be

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To give an idea of where I stand I am an avid reader (when I get time) and devour David Gemmell, Raymond E. Fiest, David Eddings, Ian Irvine, Ann McCafree, Frank Herbert etc etc as often as I can. All these authors have sex, rape, prostitution, homosexual relationships etc etc all through their work. None of it is gratuitous or graphic or particularly explicit in its description but it is definitely there and adds to the context and characters of their respective stories. I am not against Mature adult content.

 

I am, however, against immature adult content. Having sex (for example) in a game does not make the game "mature" unless there is a mature reason for having it as part of the story. Others may disagree but I would class The Witchers sex conquest card game as immature and cheap in what was other wise a great game and story.

Cowgoesmoo

I agree, sadly, only a scant few games such as Dragon Age 2 use sex scenes as an effective storytelling device.

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One recent survey by a Washington-based researcher concluded that Americans were far more willing to participate in cannibalism then they have in the past hundred years. America is a nation that will not suffer abominations lightly.

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In my opinion, Project Eternity -- being of a fantasy setting -- would be more interesting if it explored fantastic (of fantasy, not amazing) mature themes, instead of limiting itself to concerns that exist our contemporary society.


Brown Bear- attacks Squirrel
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When I think of mature content Arcanum always comes to mind. Is anyone familiar with the Half Ogre island quest? It explores things like kidnapping, prostitution, people smuggling, torture, rape, politics all tied into the one quest line.

 

When I was playing through it the content absolutely blew my mind. The writers did an amazing job there some of the best story I've seen in a computer game.

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How is it that in the entertainment industry, the word "mature" has come to mean sex scenes, violence and the oh so dreaded "bad" language? Is it an American thing? Where I live, a mature work of art is one of vision, wisdom, depth and insight, which by the way is something I have come to expect, to a lesser or greater degree, from the writing in Obsidian's games. Along with the sex, violence and "bad" language, of course :)

 

To a degree this is what I was trying to point to while keeping my post short enough to be read. All of the authors and their work that I referenced are also full of grusom deaths, torture, betrayal, manipulation and all manner of mature themes. I am not against this stuff being presented in a mature way. (I agree with what others are saying with regards to text and fade to black.) Mature themes need to have mature and realistic consquences and effects.

 

However even then I don't want that included just for the sake of having it there (Which is the way I feel was taken with Mass Effect and some of the romance options there - My opionion obviously) - it needs to have a purpose. CS Lewis commented that the art of writeing a good story was to remove as many words as possible so that each one had a purpose. A slighly different genre and medium obviously....

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When I think of mature content Arcanum always comes to mind. Is anyone familiar with the Half Ogre island quest? It explores things like kidnapping, prostitution, people smuggling, torture, rape, politics all tied into the one quest line.

 

When I was playing through it the content absolutely blew my mind. The writers did an amazing job there some of the best story I've seen in a computer game.

Yes. Sadly, that quest was impossible to complete and player was left in the dark(


MzpydUh.gif

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When I think of mature content Arcanum always comes to mind. Is anyone familiar with the Half Ogre island quest? It explores things like kidnapping, prostitution, people smuggling, torture, rape, politics all tied into the one quest line.

 

When I was playing through it the content absolutely blew my mind. The writers did an amazing job there some of the best story I've seen in a computer game.

Yes. Sadly, that quest was impossible to complete and player was left in the dark(

 

Pretty sure it ended exactly where they intended it to end.

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Funny story: I wanted to see if the first Witcher game would punish me for not having sex with anybody, but the game pretty much forces you into an encounter, and that's when I quit.

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In my opinion mature content is delving into topics like poverty and how it causes people to do things that are against their morale values. Slavery from such perspective, why people think it is justified (so not usual approach that people who have slaves are evil, bad or etc.). Prejustice from prespective that why they have born and whose agenda is to feed thrm to grow and why. Drugs from such perspectives as why there is drugs, is there some other reason to use drugs than self plesure, better and darker sides of hedoism.

Mature themes that I am not keen on are exploitation themes like erotism (like over sexualised characters, nude scenes, etc.), sex for sex sake (this cover also rape for including rape sake), exaggerated violence and etc.

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When I think of mature content Arcanum always comes to mind. Is anyone familiar with the Half Ogre island quest? It explores things like kidnapping, prostitution, people smuggling, torture, rape, politics all tied into the one quest line.

 

When I was playing through it the content absolutely blew my mind. The writers did an amazing job there some of the best story I've seen in a computer game.

Yes. Sadly, that quest was impossible to complete and player was left in the dark(

 

Pretty sure it ended exactly where they intended it to end.

Yeah. The player can't fix everything. I actually liked the outcome of this quest.

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It is kind of striking how much of the Kickstarter video is dedicated to the various members of the team talking about how Mature this game is going to be, and all the Mature themes they'll get to discuss. I definitely get the vibe from the video that they aren't just talking about the intelligent, tasteful kind of mature. Tim Cain seemed pretty stoked to be making an M rated game.

 

I say bring it on. I, for one, like that kind of mature. I want the game to be insightful, intelligent, and thought provoking, of course. But I also want it to be fun, and sue me, but I think gratuitous gore and sex can be fun in entertainment. Would Fallout be as fun as it is without the excessive "mature" stuff?

 

When I think of mature content Arcanum always comes to mind. Is anyone familiar with the Half Ogre island quest? It explores things like kidnapping, prostitution, people smuggling, torture, rape, politics all tied into the one quest line.

 

When I was playing through it the content absolutely blew my mind. The writers did an amazing job there some of the best story I've seen in a computer game.

Yes. Sadly, that quest was impossible to complete and player was left in the dark(

). Sorry, that was driving me crazy.

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I don't think that rape should be entirely removed from a game because some people may be sensitive to it, and I think there's a place for depictions of it in games.

 

But I don't want the experience of my character being raped to be a necessary consequence of selecting "female" in the character creation screen. That's wrenching a huge bit of character development out of my hands, and it's doing so in one of the most unpleasant ways possible. It may add realism to the game, but in my opinion, it doesn't add fun to it. All it does is take away my opportunity to have a bit of a power fantasy in my game, at least unless I resign myself to playing a gender other than my own.

 

I"m particularly opposed to making things specifically unpleasant for female characters because these sorts of changes make the game far less accessible for people who always play them or who would play them on their first playthrough, and it seems as if many realism advocates want these sorts of options for later playthroughs when they've become bored with other content in the game.

 

 

 

The PC should not be raped, not sure where anybody got that idea from. I don't think anybody wants the PC raped. Nor do I think having a companion be raped either (although, I do think if I am evil I should be able to sell of my companion to slaver or sacrifice them to dark being, or use them in a ritual to give myself immortality..etc)

 

However, I am for having gender references and characters being treated discriminatory or bonuses based on your gender and race in different situations.

 

How are they supposed to know that there is rape in the game? They know going in that there is traditional fantasy violence, so people bothered by that are unlikely to buy the game. But unless Obsidian announces that it includes rape, there is no reason for the person buying it to assume that it would (it's not a standard feature of the genre, after all). This is especially important to note since rape is pretty common in real life, so there could easily be a significant number of rape victims playing the game.

 

Sorry, it is a mature game, by its definition that includes mature adult topics like slavery, drugs, violence, kidnapping, rape, etc. The fantasy settings like DA series had rape, the witcher series had rape, the show game of thrones has it. It is not a just a fantasy game, its a mature game. The mature subject matters will most likely be listed in some form on the steam and other digital distribution page. If people buying the game do not read it or learn whats in the game, that falls only on them and nobody else.

 

I'm ok with mature content, like brothels, slavery and such. Just don't make it in Dragon Age 2 style, with clothed caricature sex and Twilight-like moral problems.

Fallout 2 get it right - drugs, slavery, wenches. That's post-apocalypse for you, not some fairy land. Medieval setting is no better

 

agreed.

 

Again, as I said before, it does not have to be one or the other, there is no reason it cannot include all the different definitions of mature. Its going to have drugs, slavery..etc. Will seem weird to shy away from sex or sexual encounters, fallout 2 did it pretty good. On a side note, I have no problem with the game goes black during the sex scenes like the fallout 1/2 games, although maybe have the chracters portraits/avatar be dressed (depending on the situation) fit for the occasion.

Edited by Badmojo
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