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What to do about Adult servers?

TrentOsterTrentOster Administrator, Developer Posts: 427
Hello everyone. I wanted to start an open discussion about adult content servers and how the game and community should handle them. As a shipping software product with a Teen (PEGI 14) rating we need to be aware that a number of our users will be underage for adult content. I'd like to hear the general opinions of the community on the issue as we try to form a strategy and approach going forward.

StummvonBordwehrShaidenJuliusBorisovlolienmlneveseNonnahswriterKenjiZwerkulestypo_tillytbone1Vasculiorapsam2003voidofopiniondunahan
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Comments

  • IrongronIrongron Member Posts: 8
    edited November 2017
    Well as a server admin, and a parent of children I hope to one day introduce to NwN I really appreciate this topic being discussed.

    While we operate a strictly PG13 server, I am aware that 'erotic roleplay' is something that many NWN player enjoy (not my cup of tea), so offering them some degree of (discreet) support may not be bad thing, but I really don't think they should show up as normal on the server list.

    I have 2 suggestions, though I prefer the former I understand it may require more policing than Beamdog would like to commit to.

    So option 1

    Adult servers are required to notify Beamdog, and receive an override file they can add to their installation, which will allow them to be shown on the server list. They can distribute this privately to their players, but it won't be openly posted or linked to on the Beamdog forums.

    I think this is the best way to fully protect children playing NWN, while offering some degree of support.

    and Option 2

    Simply add a filter (opt in) to to player list for adult servers, perhaps one requiring the user to enter whatever game verification code Beamdog employs.

    StummvonBordwehrthemazingnessdunahan
  • IrongronIrongron Member Posts: 8
    There was a lot than Sinfar, back in the day, and I expect there will be again. I think Niv's suggestion of a self-describe tag, along with an additional filter on the server list is almost certainly the way to go.

    Server that operate this kind thing have as much an interest in protecting children as anyone else, and I expect almost all would flag themselves appropriately.

    PlasmaJohnHarrowricoyung
  • MadHatterMadHatter Member Posts: 145
    NWN (and pretty much every other moddable RPG) has always had mature, adult servers. While I don't partake myself, I don't think Beamdog necessarily needs to *do* anything about it.

    I agree with @Ninjamestari .

    The ESRB website itself gives this guidance about ratings: (https://www.esrb.org/ratings/ratings_guide.aspx)

    "Online Interactions Not Rated by the ESRB" - Warns those who intend to play the game online about possible exposure to chat (text, audio, video) or other types of user-generated content (e.g., maps, skins) that have not been considered in the ESRB rating assignment.

    mlnevesePokota
  • SarmanosSarmanos Member Posts: 16
    There's honestly nothing that can be done there without being heavy handed. Keep it hands off like it has been.

    FlashburnmlneveseProontricoyung
  • IrongronIrongron Member Posts: 8
    Yes, anything that requires any degree of policing is likely far too much to manage. Beamdog staff would probably have to cruise the various servers running honey-trap stings to find out which supported that content.

    In the past NWN servers doing that have done so responsibly, and I believe would do so again.

    Having an extra tag, for 'erotic/adult content' that servers can choose to flag themselves as, along with a forum filter would serve both sides. The truth is these servers can be very popular, and once the server list populates with all the new player mods the filter would work not only as a tool to protect those not wishing to see them, but as a way to promote those servers to those that do.

  • ReibornReiborn Member Posts: 156
    iirc in the original release it stated game rating do not include fan made content including servers. just let everyone have their thing.

  • thirdmousethirdmouse Member Posts: 67
    I don't think a self-describe tag is heavy-handed. Actually, I think being able to self-flag a server as 18+ would be good for more general uses than "social" servers, as there are already RP-adventure servers that just deal in mature content and don't want the hassle of someone being surprised by the occasional adult themes.

    Self-describe means that it's on the server to flag themselves; it's voluntary and not really enforceable. Clearer info + lack of policing = good to me :)

    Pokota
  • DrHappyAngryDrHappyAngry Member Posts: 1,192

    While I understand the "online content may change" covers our butt from a litigation side, as a parent I would lose my mind if my kid was playing the game and looked at servers and there were a bunch of adult servers appearing in the browser. I'd like a means to allow people to enjoy adult content without flooding the normal game browsing with listings for that content. I like the concept of opting in for adult content. That said, I raised the point so we can have an open discussion about it.

    I think opt-in is the way to go, you don't have somebody seeing adult content by default, but easy enough to toggle if you do want it. The idea of tags for adult/mature content would work well with that. It does mean you guys will probably have to deal with flagging and removing/re-tagging adult content if it's not properly tagged, and is popping up for users that have not opted-in, though.

    PokotaFaydark
  • thirdmousethirdmouse Member Posts: 67
    @Sylvus_Moonbow :
    Nothing. You let the community police itself. Players who are not interested in jiggly breasts or a large swaying penis, or perhaps both on one character, well they avoid servers such as that and word of mouth gets around.


    Emphasis mine :) I think this is actually the main topic, not an attempt to "do" anything with/about the servers themselves. (Misleading thread title there, I agree.) The conversation doesn't seem to be about how to get rid of them, make them PG-13, etc, but rather a, shall we say... discussion over whether there should be a more informed choice than "word of mouth gets around" ?

    Don't get me wrong, I could be mistaken! But I think they made it clear in the stream the other day that they won't be moderating community content, even if they don't exactly "feature" them on their web site. So, while I think everyone so far (?) is actually in agreement that trying to moderate those servers is a bad idea, providing more information to users doesn't seem like a bad thing, in the coming days where you can just browse servers again without hitting their websites and knowing all about them, first. Or, in the case of other suggestions, enabling parents (or users that just want to be able to filter for themselves!) to have the option, without trying to actually be the parents.

    My last post, I promise; not trying to debate over opinions when opinions are called for ;)

  • Sylvus_MoonbowSylvus_Moonbow Member Posts: 995

    The conversation doesn't seem to be about how to get rid of them, make them PG-13, etc, but rather a, shall we say... discussion over whether there should be a more informed choice than "word of mouth gets around" ?

    Then my answer is no. There does not need to be a more informed choice, when word of mouth is the strongest voice of them all. It is why module descriptions are available to the builder - they also show up during server look-up.

    This community has done well enough over all the years without some button, flag or opt-out option.

    Flashburnricoyung
  • thirdmousethirdmouse Member Posts: 67
    Fair enough; I just thought the comparison to a porn site was interesting, since one might wish for the ability to filter out furries or show only redheads or conjoined twins or whatever the internet is into these days, ha! "Let everybody do what they want, and help them easily find what they are looking for" ;)

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 13,620
    It might be prudent to bear in mind that there's more than one type of adult mod. Some are just cosmetic tweaks; others are actual campaigns that involve the player in sexual scenarios. And not all of those scenarios are exactly vanilla stuff.

    I wouldn't care if my kid saw the former (I did), but the latter is a different story.

    lolien
  • FlashburnFlashburn Member Posts: 1,724

    While I understand the "online content may change" covers our butt from a litigation side, as a parent I would lose my mind if my kid was playing the game and looked at servers and there were a bunch of adult servers appearing in the browser.

    There aren't a lot of adult servers anyway besides Kissmet, Sinfar, and Solarune (probably; I don't speak French). In fact, all of the adult servers list themselves in the "Social" category. You could simply add another server category for adult content if you're so concerned about it, though I say you shouldn't do anything at all. Server hosts and DMs can easily handle any problem with players and have done so for more than a decade.

    Furthermore, the overwhelming majority of servers are not adult-based, so you're not going to end up in a situation where your kid has "a bunch" of adult servers in the server browser. All three of the adult servers I listed additionally stipulate that they are adult servers as well.

    You're my hero for bringing back NWN, but I think you're making a mountain out of a molehill on this.

    Elendarricoyung
  • AncarionAncarion Member Posts: 93
    It might be good to keep in mind that the idea of adult content generally goes beyond the predominantly American meaning of nudity and sexuality, and includes such things as extreme violence and depravity. Torture, slavery, anything not suitable for children. So that leads to the question of what Beamdog considers "adult" content. Would a hellish world of demonic torture, or a quest to murder a village of innocents also qualify?

    With that said, I think the "opt-in" option might work best. Servers should probably be required to avoid anything explicit in their names, and perhaps include some ESRB-equivalent tag in their listing. The server list could then be configured by users to filter out those with certain tags, so they don't even appear. Then, when a client connects, a yes/no confirmation message appears with all the legal niceties to further ensure the player agrees to connect, knowing the content's rating.

    As to how to make sure servers are using the proper rating... This would probably require a good deal of resources on Beamdog's part. A few ways I can think of are:
    1. Keep it voluntary, and policed by the player base. If a player comes across an improperly tagged server, they could send a report to Beamdog, who could then further investigate and make ratings changes as needed.
    2. Beamdog could proactively monitor servers and server data for content that doesn't conform to the server's rating.
    3. Have an "approved for all audiences" program, where servers are submitted to Beamdog for a seal of approval, and a switch that can be set by users on the server list to only show "approved" servers.

    There are obvious downsides to all of these, and really the only sure way to keep children from adult content is through unyielding vigilant parental control, and even that doesn't really work.

    TheBarbarian
  • deltagodeltago Member Posts: 6,823
    The Opt-In, as good of an idea as it is, gives a false sense of security as this behaviour can happen on any server, especially if the two people are consenting about it and they do it discreetly.

    I also don't thing a full server should be 'punished' if two of the participants got caught being a little too friendly to each other in some obscure inn or other less traveled area.

    I don't know. I think adult server owners should have a bigger say in the outcome. They are the ones talked about.

  • FutabotFutabot Member Posts: 12
    The only thing that needs to be done is preventing the first look into the NWN server list to be populated with adult themed stuff. Social worked fine because it separated them into a neat category. If we can't have server categories back, then just make the Mature tag opt-in and have viewing it disabled by default.

    I don't think we need to put that many resources into managing the integrity of server advertisements beyond that.

    PlasmaJohn
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 13,620
    Asking for birth dates is the standard way of dealing with this for websites that actually want to discourage minors from visiting certain forms of content. It's easy, convenient, and about as reliable as you can realistically get.

    Proontlolien
  • MavrixioMavrixio Member Posts: 14
    I think the game should mention that the Teen rating doesn't really apply to multiplayer, in general... even on "non adult" servers you may encounter situations that are not PG13.

    But because Sinfar servers are clearly for adults only, we mention (18) or (Adults Only) in the name. Then when a character is created they get a dialog and they must consent that they are 18+. Then they need to download our haks. Finally we have in game rules (https://forum.sinfar.net/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=11293) so that, in short:
    - Nothing illegal happen
    - Nothing obscene happen publicly
    - Everything that happen behind closed doors must be consented

    To improve that, I think there should be a convention for the ratings in the servers name, like Niv said: Teen, Mature, Adult. Then add a filter and colours and we are good to go!

    FutabotclansunstarVonDimentiaricoyung
  • ReibornReiborn Member Posts: 156

    While I understand the "online content may change" covers our butt from a litigation side, as a parent I would lose my mind if my kid was playing the game and looked at servers and there were a bunch of adult servers appearing in the browser. I'd like a means to allow people to enjoy adult content without flooding the normal game browsing with listings for that content. I like the concept of opting in for adult content. That said, I raised the point so we can have an open discussion about it.

    problem is how you are going to enforce it?

    let's say someone built a PW server and didn't marked it with the 18+ marker on server manager.
    then some random guy in the server starts a virtual party and use some ... less appropriate *unzip pants* RP session.
    What exactly can you do about it?
    I imagine Beamdog can't dedicate resources to monitor every activity in the game.

    Also let's talk single player, can you truly monitor each and every bit of fan created content to give them the seal of approval they are free of mature content?

    imho,
    It's up to the user discretion or parents, if we talking about minors here, to monitor what their kids are doing.
    You simply can't monitor all the content... it will take you more time then developing the game in the first place.

    Levedararicoyung
  • MusaabMusaab Member Posts: 85
    edited November 2017
    Maybe do something like the original Leisure Suit Larry and ask questions only someone born before the turn of the century would know to verify their age :)

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