World of Darkness Blog
Created 1 years 23 days ago
Gamer, Singer, Trainer, Storyteller, and all-around swell cat.
Been playing WoD since the original VtM came out back in 1991, though I've been into RPG's since the D&D red-box in Grade 6.
First book I ever read: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe (I have the hots for sinister female leads thanks to this novel)
Favourite Movie: The Sound of Music
Favourite Computer Game: Any adventure game by Sierra On-Line, particularly the Gabriel Knight series.
Merit: 5 Flaw: 1
- Currently 0.00/5 Stars.
Every time I think about this topic, I always picture Eastwood squinting and growling “Get off my lawn.....” through clenched teeth. That said, I hereby propose that the WoD MMO should be designed with an ESRB rating of AO in mind. Not an M rating – AO (Adults Only).
It’s not what you think! I would be perfectly happy with an M rating, but in my experience you’ll only get what you want by aiming for an extra step further. Want a B on your exam? Aim for an A. Trying to lose 20 lbs.? Work towards losing 30. Plus, if and when you get what you aim for, it’s a total bonus! It’s like succeeding twice for the same amount of effort! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not really a cynic, even though this concept seems cynical now that I read it again. What I’m proposing is that if you think that doing X amount of effort will lead to a B grade, then do X+1 in order to try and earn that A, and you’ll definitely earn a B at the very least.
Okay, enough with the self-help. Tony Robbins I am not – believe me!
World of Darkness is not for kids or teens. When I was that age, I was a very smart kid, but there was no chance in Hell that I was emotionally/intellectually equipped to handle the kinds of themes and motifs that are at the core of WoD. Neither were any of the guys and girls with whom I grew up. Morality, violence, substance abuse, sexuality, responsibility, economics, Machiavellian politics and so forth – all these ideas tend to make most kids snicker in ignorance.
We already know two things – Nudity will be in the game, with players encouraged to “do as they please” while in the comforts of their own havens, and there will be GBLT-focused nightclubs. Violence is a given, but to what degree? Sure I’ll be able to punch someone in the face, but will I be able to rip an arm off and beat someone to death with it? They’re focusing on melee weapons – will we be dealing superficial video-game wounds, or will we be disembowelling folks with a Bowie knife? What level of sexuality should we expect to see in nightclubs and such? It’s probably not that odd to see two dudes making out in the shadows, but how...handsy...can they get, and to what level of undress?
As it stands the only difference between an M rating and an AO rating, according to the ESRB, is “prolonged scenes of intense violence and/or graphic sexuality.” While it’s a shame that the rating focuses solely on sex and violence, it makes you wonder what the difference between intense violence and prolonged intense violence might be. Torture scenes, maybe? How about a True Blood example? Vampire Bill has sex with his Sire, who he hates so much that he wrenches her head around backwards so that he doesn’t have to look at her, and then they both keep on trucking so to speak... A difficult scene to watch or enjoy, but it was an unapologetic statement of “Don’t let children watch this show!” nonetheless.
Do I want the developers to go that far just to ensure an M rating? That’s a question that required quite a bit of soul-searching. In the end, I’m going to say yes and here’s why: vampires are monsters who feed on humanity. They are not humans with powers who sparkle in the sunlight, no matter how tortured Camarilla Kindred get over their Humanity. The danger of telling a vampire story is the tendency to focus on the cool and the sexy, and to overlook the horrifying monstrosity. Don’t get me wrong – as interested as I am in ScaryDark, I’m as into curves as the next guy, but I really want the mature content to be more than just sex and violence. I would LOVE to see an AO rating that was due to the morality, economics and political machination content of the game.
349 days ago
Weeeelll, I don't think the ESRB will give out an AO rating to this game due to the morality, economics and political machination in it. I do think, however, that if it's too gory/sexual that it will, obviously. But like Chris M. said, They're not going to be putting in violence for the sake of violence or sex for the sake of sex, it will all have a purpose. For this reason, I think it will end up getting slapped with an M rating. I still can't wait to pull someone's heart out with my bare hand though :3
349 days ago
Morality, before anything else, is what should earn a "Mature" or "Adults-Only" rating. Think of what we're teaching kids by telling them that violence is okay, but appreciating a fine woman is not. Or that torture, rape, and murder (i.e., just about any Path of Enlightenment) are okay, so long as it's done behind closed doors or off-screen. While I of course don't want the game or the developers OR the ERSB to become preachy about the whole process, I DO want to play a game without having to worry about how many too-curious kids with too-lazy parents are going to get scarred for life. I really, really hope that if CCP and/or White Wolf ever do or have ever gotten sued for "psychological damage" to underage players, they have themselves a hearty laugh and get to bitch-slap somebody for being stupid.
1 years 22 days ago
I agree. if they want to be true to the WOD setting then an AO rating would probably be a good idea. having said that ccp will most likely want to avoid this if only so that they can have their product released in all regions. Fortunatly this is should become less of an issue as R18+ ratings for games seems to be becomming more accepted. I live in Australia and we are finnally getting an AO rating! hopefully this means ccp will be more inclined to create an mmo with AO in mind.
1 years 22 days ago
The funny thing is that there are plenty of adults out there of all ages who act like children no matter what XD. But I agree, I don't want twelve year old kids in this game, because they are really just too young to really "get" the themes of this game, and quite frankly shouldn't understand them at that age. That, and they would probably ruin immersion something fierce.
349 days ago
Well, I understand where you're coming from, and I too don't want any 12 year old kids in the game. For me though, it's because it would just make me feel really... Sick. Like, if I was in the middle of draining a prostitute that I just grabbed from a street corner and a 12 year old who's parents bought him the game walked up and asked me, "Why is she dressed like that and what are you doing to her?" I would probably take the game back... Or at least log out, spend some time contemplating what kind of parents would buy their kid a game like that and then get back on, hoping not to see another.
1 years 23 days ago
If "prolonged scenes of intense violence" really cut it for an AO-game, then most games in the U.S. would be "adults only". Most of the games made to date don't take it to that step though, because it's really hard to display that kind of violence on models. It's one thing to have a character go stabby-stabby and have a blood splurt graphic than it is to do scripted kills with actual wounds and bleeding in effect on the model. Games, especially single-player RPGs (I'm looking at you, Assassin's Creed series, which was actually strangely bloodless), are going in this direction, but it takes a lot of work to get violence to the point that it shocks such a desensitized audience. Sex, on the other hand, here in the U.S., is what distinguishes AO games from M games. "M" to us means "a half-second glimpse of the profile of a naked woman's posterior". I hadn't heard that the developers are going to endorse gay/lesbian/etc bars or clubs in the game, but they have said that you can do pretty much as you please - in your own haven. This has gotta mean that havens are pretty much private territory (at least starter havens... But that's another thread), so you can somehow control who can see whatever you're doing to those poor defenseless vampires behind closed doors. For an AO rating in the U.S., that amounts to topless lesbians making out softcore. Wheee.
1 years 23 days ago
I could have mentioned Second Life and it's multi-phallic furry Unicorn rape, but I really don't want to go there....ever.....*shudder*
1 years 23 days ago
See the only problem with that though is kids are going to want to play it even more. That whole reverse psychology doesn't work on today's youth but I do agree.