Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Something about sex: It's only obscene if you ain't got that green

3:00 PM on 03.21.2010 // Sean Carey

[Editor's Note: We're not just a (rad) news site -- we also publish opinions/editorials from our community & employees like this one, though be aware that it may not jive with the opinions of Destructoid as a whole, or how our moms raised us. Want to post your own article in response? Publish it now on our community blogs.]

It's a sad fact of life, but cold hard cash is the ultimate caveat. The truth is, almost any rule can be circumvented if Benjamin Franklin is a member of the negotiating team.

A little paper pressed discretely into the palm gets you past the velvet rope at the club while the masses stand and gripe. A high-dollar attorney turns jail time into community service. Even in the Middle Ages, indulgences meant carte blanche on all the deadly sins you could get on the scoreboard; a vigorous jingle of your coin purse was like shaking the Etch-a-Sketch of your soul back into a blissful tabula rasa.

When it comes to moral standards in digital entertainment, the game is no different. There's one set of rules for the heavy hitters; meanwhile, everyone else is told to "do as I say, not as I let those other guys do."

Apple recently revealed their Janus-like visage to iPhone game developers and other app creators when over 5000 apps were pulled from the iTunes store due to "objectionable content". When asked by affected app developers what criteria was used to determine the suitability of app content, they were provided with the following guidelines:

No images of women in bikinis.
No images of men in bikinis.
No skin.
No silhouettes that indicate that Wobble can be used for wobbling boobs.
No sexual connotations or innuendo: boobs, babes, booty, sex.
Nothing that can be sexually arousing.
No apps will be approved that in any way imply sexual content.

According to a spokesperson, Apple was receiving complaints from women who "found the content getting "too degrading and objectionable" along with parents who had issues with what their children were able to access via the iTunes store.



Now we know why it wasn't released on the iPhone.

Now, we all have different opinions about what is and isn't objectionable. Wherever you lie on that spectrum, however, it can't be disputed that Apple has the right to structure and restrict content as they see fit. If they choose to refuse certain app or game content in order to pursue or retain a family/PC sensitive demographic, I can at least understand the move, even if I don't agree with it.

The problem is this: while thousands of independent app and game developers were negatively affected in many ways, the media giants who also run with the skin-peddling pack have received no rebuke or mandate to alter their content whatsoever.

Playboy's app? Un-pulled and uncensored; I suppose the fact that they are female bunnies and not actual human women means that the app is free from "degrading and objectionable" content. No different than watching Animal Planet, really.

Victoria's Secret's app? Still happily providing release to teenagers everywhere who know that iPhone screen protectors aren't just to keep dust out.

GQ, FHM, and Sports Illustrated? Apparently, their bikini and lingerie shots with women staring demurely back over their own asses at me aren't actually sexual because the objectification has a recognizable brand name slapped on it.



Truly, they are paragons of virtue.

So Apple gets to have their cake and eat it too. They get to look wholesome for making an example of the pervy little guys as they play Puritan for street cred with the moral majority. At the same time, the "smut" producers with clout get out of Apple's bed, zip up their pants, and leave a fat envelope on the nightstand as they tiptoe out the back.

The individuals at Apple enforcing this decision are no different than crooked cops who make a public show of busting the guy slinging dime bags on the quad for college money so that they can keep accepting bribes from the heroin syndicate without losing their jobs.

By this point, you may be asking yourself why you should even care. This content purge apparently doesn't affect you much as a gamer, even if you play primarily on an iPhone. You weren't going to buy the wobbly boob app anyway, right? ... RIGHT?

To a certain extent, I agree with that mentality. A guy who was apparently weaned too soon being denied his ability to use accelerometer technology to reclaim his lost youth via unstable mammaries is hardly deserving of a march on Washington. I personally think the majority of the content getting cut from the iTunes store in this move, gaming or otherwise, is almost entirely lacking in merit.

That being said, the issue here is not the few iPhone games being impacted in the moment, but rather the precedent that is being set. The model that Apple uses to generate revenue with the iTunes store is being studied by all the major players in the game industry as it moves inexorably towards a future driven by digital distribution.



Fair and just application of moral standards!

As gaming giants continually look to maximize profits by broadening their appeal, the danger of in-game content being more directly impacted by these sorts of two-faced initiatives over time is tangible. The message that this type of event sends independent developers is clear. Bioware may have the muscle to stand up for their sideboob against the platform proctors, but you do not.

The types of boundary pushing and unapologetic exploration of mature themes that are most prevalent in the independent realm are subtly undermined by the implicit threat that a small timer's meal ticket may be revoked at any moment. For those that value the evolutionary impetus that the true risk-takers provide for the gaming industry, the potential impacts of these hypocrisies and double-standards are clear.

For the rest of you, there may be no cause for immediate alarm, but remember -- the road to hell is paved with good exceptions.

This promoted blog was written for our March Monthly Musing assignment, "Write something about sex." You too could get promoted if you write something about sex in videogames over on the Community Blogs.



Sean Carey,
 Follow Blog + disclosure

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.





 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

TheKodu avatarTheKodu
So I'm hearing the UN called Japan in to discus "Banning the sale of video games or cartoons involving sexual violence against women " Which by Anita's standards = any Violence able to be done. Japan sent a 40 page long NO back to the UN in reply.
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
Why did I have to read that Austin Grossman was going to be one of the writers on a cancelled Half-Life 2 episode?
Parismio avatarParismio
Dammit its 3 and i cant stop reading cute gay romance mangas.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
Going to be honest; I love out-of-context anime screenshots. They're... kind of incredible.
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Retweet of the year goes to President of Worldwide Studios, Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc., Shuhei Yoshida.
Voodoome avatarVoodoome
Just got home from Deadpool and ... it's not good. I liked the jabs at Green Lantern and the previous movie Deadpool, but that was about it. The rest was just painfully forced dick jokes. Wife fell asleep.
Nathan D avatarNathan D
Larxinostic rule34
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
Looks like I'm not gonna be able to 100% Tearaway Unfolded until Monday at the least. I'm definitely writing about it this weekend and am trying my hardest to get my screenshots off of my PS4 (especially hard as I don't do social media anymore)
Darth Wachen avatarDarth Wachen
I've never done a blog before, so I may as well try one with a review of Stranger of Sword City....well, when I get entered into that contest of course
ikiryou avatarikiryou
Shakedown Hawaii is giving me good GTA vibes. I missed the topdown GTA games when they were a thing. I have to decide what platform to get it for since it's coming to 3DS/Vita/PS4/PC (probably the Vita version for moi).
TheBlondeBass avatarTheBlondeBass
You think your art sucks? Here's the rule34 I made of Larx yesterday. Look at it and despair.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
Hey Dreamweaver? If you think your art sucks, you should have a look at my magnum opus. It's of Cloud from the popular game, Final Fantasy: All the Bravest.
Agent9 avatarAgent9
I never thought this would happen, but here I am. all of my 700+ pokemon gone in one day. My cart stopped working and there's nothing I can do. I quit, you can't just rebuild all that. Time to find something else.
taterchimp avatartaterchimp
Tom Collins is a pretty great drink, and well suited for poutine. consumption
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
It may be because I've been drinking but... We need some dung beetles from ark for the front page. Move that dung on out.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
Does anyone know how to get PS4 screenshots onto a PC without needing a flash drive? I don't have a spare.
Dreamweaver avatarDreamweaver
This is an example of how bad my drawings are. I honestly think drawing stick figures would've been easier on the eyes. :( The worst thing about this image is that this was made after I got BETTER. Trust me, you don't want to see my earlier stuff. T^T
ChillyBilly avatarChillyBilly
So I received a mysterious box in the mail today. When I opened it I was blown away...The friends I've made here on Destructoid are amazing (More pics in the comments).
Parismio avatarParismio
FRISK PACIFIES YOUR FACE!
MeanderBot avatarMeanderBot
Woe is me. This month's Cblog theme is basically an excuse to draw pretty girls, and here I am with no time.
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -