Do You Smoke After Online Gaming?

Online games are what their name implies… a game. Although games today have been driving towards greater and greater realism, they have not crossed many boundaries. Pretty much all mainstream narrative online games, termed MMOGs, such as Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO) and World of Warcraft (WoW) contain no reference to adult material such as sex or offensive language. If you logged into any one of these games the user would never encounter sex, profane language, or such references as bodily functions within the actual narrative of the story. There are several reasons why the game and narrative designers refrain from including questionable material in mainstream online narrative games including much of the player population are minors and sex in online games serve no real purpose.

Online games have always been geared towards both a teen audience and an adult audience and if a game were to include questionable content that would result in a M (mature) rating, which is not entirely uncommon, or the fatal AO (adults only) rating then the game could lose a large portion of their player base. An Adult Only game would have a very small, underground underage player base and that would result in a large loss of revenue for the profit based game companies. It would not be profitable for a company to include material that would result in a loss of users and subsequently subscriber fees. The only thing that would be plausible would be to have an online game geared entirely towards adult entertainment, and the game itself would have to be advertised that way. I am also not exactly sure if there is a large enough market out there for “online sex narrative games” that would appeal specifically to online gamers, not just average Joes who would be intrigued by the adults only idea but not really have a stake in the online gaming market. I think this is a major reason why games have stayed away from such questionable content as sex.

Although much of the player base for online games is males, sex is still not a major reason why men play online games. Games are what they are, games, and most online gamers do not log in to a game to be subjected to sex and other real life things. I tried to look up some statistics on the percentage of the population that was male and only found one site that said 58 percent are males and 42 percent are females but this seems like a larger female player population than I expected. There is a common internet saying that goes, “there are no girls on the internet” and it is a little uncommon to find a female gamer (although many are probably closet females gamers in both real life and in the game because of the obnoxious ways male gamers can treat them) in such online games a LOTRO and WoW. Even though much of the gamer population is male, sex is still not one of the major reasons gamers play online games.

Although sex pervades much of our society, it still has not infiltrated mainstream online narrative games.

-Seth

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