April 2nd, 2007

Naughty America the GameThanks to a suggestion from Brenda Brathwaite and a lot of patience from Ellie Gibson, I’ve been working on a piece for GamesIndustry.biz about the unique challenges of selling sex games. Along the way, I wrote to Naughty America, whose head Noah Dudley I’d seen now at both the Sex and Games Conference and GDC07, to talk about how they market the game, the advantages of online distribution, etc. Straightforward stuff.

However, in response to my inquiry, I received an email that reads: “We are not producing a sex game and would prefer not to be compared to others as such.” The email then goes on to say that Naughty America will have to decide whether my article is acceptable–not just for them to comment on, it seems, but in general. Did I ask?

The silliness of that aside, the thing that really has me raising one eyebrow is this line, “We are not producing a sex game.” If you’ve haven’t played the game, check out the Naughty America site for yourself. Isn’t their slogan, “Sex in an online game? It’s about time”? (Yes, that is ridiculous.) Isn’t this their umbrella company, which sells straight-up porn? Then, of course, there’s the fact that Mr. Dudley keeps showing up at sex-game talks…

My point isn’t to quibble over what is or isn’t a “sex game”; yes, Naughty America has content beyond sex. My point is that a game that prides itself on letting you cut loose shouldn’t be hiding in the sex-game closet. Plus, saying you don’t want to be compared to other sex games (besides being an ego trip) is also a big vote of no confidence to the companies who are hard at work developing outright sexy games. So, come on, step up, own your sexiness. And when your name is Naughty America, don’t get squirmy if people ask you about sex.

Tags: Blog

10 Responses to “Naughty America not a “sex game”?”

  1. Scott Jon Siegel Says:

    Are they kidding? They don’t want to call it a sex game when it’s the official MMO of the Naughty America porn site?

    Come on.

  2. Bonnie Says:

    My sentiments exactly.

  3. Leigh Says:

    This is sort of like on Dateline’s “To Catch a Predator,” when the would-be child predator walks into the fake house to meet the supposed “child”, and Chris Hansen comes strolling casually in, with the printouts of the raunchy chat logs, and says, with his casual lordly dominance, “You came here looking for sex with a twelve-year-old.” And invariably the offender says something ridiculous, like, “No, I’m just here to help her with her homework.”

    What DO they want to call it? Oh, I get it– you are overlooking the CAREFULLY CRAFTED PLOT AND DRAMATIC CONTENT OF HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS AND BLAH BLAH BLAH in favor of the sex, which is only a MINOR PORTION OF THE GAMEPLAY EXPERIENCE. Bonnie! You pervert, how could you!?

  4. Bonnie Says:

    Ah, “To Catch a Predator”–I both despise and adore that show. So ridiculous, and yet so goddamn interesting. Maybe there is something wrong with me if that’s the kind of stuff I watch for fun :).

    As for this Naughty America thing, I’m just waiting for the unhappy email that reads, “Not only is Naughty America not a sex game, but we have deemed your blog post unacceptable.” Le sigh.

  5. phalligator Says:

    I downloaded their press release to see if I could find out anymore about the game. Turns out that if players want to meet in real life they must submit to a background check that scans for a criminal record. Reminds me of True.com (I don’t know if you’re familiar with it) but it bans “marrieds” and “felons” from using the site to date, regardless of the type of crime or the status of your marriage. Anyway, my irritation: don’t people with a criminal past deserve fun and games and love? Jeez. They sound a bit stiff, eh?

  6. Bonnie Says:

    Yeah, it’s strange stuff. Personally, I’m a firm believer–especially when we’re talking about adults–that people should be able to deal with these things themselves. Something about “Let me just run a background check, baby” doesn’t turn me on…

  7. Leigh Says:

    What I don’t understand is the compulsion for people who use the internet for what essentially amounts to casual sex are so hung up about knowing who they’re talking to. If you intend to start a real-life relationship, then why not go meet people directly instead of cybering with fantasy avatars? And if you don’t, what difference does it make?

    People ought to take a look in the mirror and realize they’re screwing in IMs and roleplaying games and all of those things because they are more sexually liberated with a measure of anonymity. Yet they also have the right to know all of the things that their Internet partner would prefer to keep anonymous?

    Oh, yeah, Dateline. What amuses me most about To Catch a Predator is how obsessed the audience is with online child sex predators. People enjoy seeing criminals get caught, sure– but something tells me that a documentary show about fraudulent birthday clowns or unscrupulous water parks might not do so well.

  8. Bonnie Says:

    People enjoy seeing criminals get caught, sure"” but something tells me that a documentary show about fraudulent birthday clowns or unscrupulous water parks might not do so well.

    Totally, there’s this whole element of living through the socially unacceptable fantasy by pretending to condemn it. It’s like the whole exploitation movies: say that you watch because what they’re doing is so awful, and silently get your kicks off it. As for me, I’m always more interested in the kids’ side of things, but that might just be my own background :).

  9. Leigh Says:

    Your background is something I’d love to hear about sometime when you find a minute.

    Until then, we can just snicker at the eleven-year-old Hentai game girls who smile beatifically as they say, “Did I mention I am 19?” Only in the American version. Does that really make anybody feel better?

  10. African mango plus Says:

    “Try Odesk or look around on Warrior Forum”…

    “You can hire someone who is good feedback at freelancer.com and elance.com.”…

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