Regulated Video Game Designers Find A New Home On The Internet

There used to be a time when sexual content was just a gimmick that was added to video games to spice them up a little. It was used mostly to advance the game, bring down an opponent or merely as a diversion. The sex was implied, but not really seen. Game characters would get together but they did not really have sex. It was the kind that we see in television sitcoms. After all, when most people think of video games they think of kids as the primary players. But when game designers realized that adult players are more than half of their business they started to listen to feedback about what they wanted in their video games. Of course, they wanted more sex in their Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PSP and Nintendo Wii games. The game makers then began to give the game players what they wanted and that was when they ran into the reality of regulation. Rather than conform to new restrictions on content, some video game designers took their act to the Internet.

When the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was recently given an Adults only 18+ rating a controversy was immediately created over sex in video games. The game was pulled from the shelves of retailers who do not sell sexually explicit content in their stores. Take Two Interactive Software Inc., the company that makes the game lost millions of dollars and a stern message was sent out to those who would try to market sexually explicit games to minors.

Gamers were outraged as conservative groups went even further and lobbied for new laws regarding explicit sex and violence in video games. The long arm of government regulation had finally put its heavy hand on the shoulder of the video game industry and they did not like it at all. They were not used to being told what kind of content they could and could not put in their games.

One of the responses by some video game designers to the recent laws regarding sex in video games was to take their games to the Internet where they would be free from any kind of restrictions or regulations. On the worldwide web the potential customer base is huge and there is no viable way to regulate the content. The Internet belongs to the World, and unless there comes a time when there is one World government that decides how everyone on the planet must behave, I do not see regulation ever becoming a reality. It is much like the Wild West out there in cyberspace, and there will not be a Sheriff showing up any time soon.

Sony Corp., Microsoft Corp. and Nintendo Co. Ltd , the companies that make the hardware for PlayStation 3, PSP, Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii games will not grant licensing to any software development companies who use sexually explicit material in their game content or titles. Critics have blasted them for allowing extremely violent content in their games for years while prohibiting graphic sex.

While sexual content has always been regulated on television and in films, with the Internet there is absolutely no oversight. If video games with sexual content are available for anyone to see at any time then the obvious concern would be that children will be accessing these games using their home computers. This means that parents must monitor their children more closely when they are on their computer

The real question is how well can the video game designers regulate themselves so as not to fall too far down into the seedy world of online pornography. The bottom of the moral barrel is pretty low in that industry and it would be a shame to see the online video game industry turn away from creative characters, graphics and storyline in favor of sex as its primary purpose.