Warning messages: good? bad?

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Adam Cadre

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Feb 16, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/16/97
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I'm preparing the big final Release 3 of "I-0", and find myself in
a double bind. After Release 1, I received the following message:

> Perhaps you should put in a warning in the startup screen that the
> game isn't suitable for children. There seem to be quite a few
> children playing text adventures, and you wouldn't want some angry
> father calling you and complaining that his 10-year-old daughter's
> been playing a game where she got raped, would you? :-)

This seemed reasonable, and there was a precedent in LEATHER
GODDESSES, so I went ahead and tacked the following to the beginning
of Release 2:

> Warning: this game may not be suitable for some children. Then again,
> it may not be suitable for some adults either. The crucial test is
> this: if you try to do something ribald, how would you like the game
> to respond? If you said, "Why, it should act offended and refuse! How
> dare the player attempt such improper input!", then this might not be
> the game for you. Otherwise, feel free to continue... and have fun!

This prompted the following response from someone else:

> I don't like the warning at the beginning of version 2. I mean, I like
> the warning just fine, but I don't like that there *is* a warning --
> it simultaneously makes it too likely for a player to try doing sexual
> things, and takes away from the excitement when you discover that you
> can do sexual things.

This also made a lot of sense. So now I'm of two minds about whether
to leave the warning in for Release 3. What do you think? This isn't
a poll, necessarily, but I'd very much appreciate any thoughts on the
matter: both as it relates to "I-0", and in general.

-----
Adam Cadre, Durham, NC
http://www.duke.edu/~adamc

Julian Arnold

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Feb 16, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/16/97
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In article <330700...@acpub.duke.edu>, Adam Cadre
<URL:mailto:ad...@acpub.duke.edu> wrote:
>
> [...]

> > Perhaps you should put in a warning in the startup screen that the
> > game isn't suitable for children. There seem to be quite a few
> > children playing text adventures, and you wouldn't want some angry
> > father calling you and complaining that his 10-year-old daughter's
> > been playing a game where she got raped, would you? :-)
>
> [...]

> > Warning: this game may not be suitable for some children. Then again,
> > it may not be suitable for some adults either. The crucial test is
> > this: if you try to do something ribald, how would you like the game
> > to respond? If you said, "Why, it should act offended and refuse! How
> > dare the player attempt such improper input!", then this might not be
> > the game for you. Otherwise, feel free to continue... and have fun!
>
> [...]

> > I don't like the warning at the beginning of version 2. I mean, I like
> > the warning just fine, but I don't like that there *is* a warning --
> > it simultaneously makes it too likely for a player to try doing sexual
> > things, and takes away from the excitement when you discover that you
> > can do sexual things.
>
> This also made a lot of sense. So now I'm of two minds about whether
> to leave the warning in for Release 3. What do you think? This isn't
> a poll, necessarily, but I'd very much appreciate any thoughts on the
> matter: both as it relates to "I-0", and in general.

This sort of came up a little while ago. There was no consensus then.
I tend to think yes, some things are unsuitable for children under a
certain level of maturity, which is most easily generalized by picking
on their age. I am not saying that they'll be warped for life if they
watch "NBK" at age 9, but more that there's no reason to expose them to
certain levels of violence, sexuality, etc. when they are likely not to
be emotionally equipped to deal with them/appreciate them.

I agree with both the people who wrote to you. I guess the first point
(there should be a warning) must outweigh the second. OTOH a warning is
not going to stop any child from playing the game. It's more likely
they'll read it and say "ooh, must play." :) The only real purpose a
warning like this serves is to warn a parent that s/he might not want
her/his child to play the game.

For this reason it might be better to have some kind of a list of
ratings/warnings somewhere, separate from the games. Then, parents can
look at this list and censor to their heart's content, but other
player's don't have to have the game spoiled by the warning. Such a
list is of course useless if the child d/l the game, but then so is an
in-game warning.

Jools
--
"For small erections may be finished by their first architects; grand
ones, true ones, ever leave the copestone to posterity. God keep me
from ever completing anything." -- Herman Melville, "Moby Dick"


Richard Stamp

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Feb 16, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/16/97
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In article <330700...@acpub.duke.edu>,

Adam Cadre <ad...@acpub.duke.edu> wrote:
>I'm preparing the big final Release 3 of "I-0", and find myself in
>a double bind. After Release 1, I received the following message:
>
>> Perhaps you should put in a warning in the startup screen that the
>> game isn't suitable for children.
>
[...but later someone else said...]

>
>> I don't like the warning at the beginning of version 2. I mean, I like
>> the warning just fine, but I don't like that there *is* a warning --
>> it simultaneously makes it too likely for a player to try doing sexual
>> things, and takes away from the excitement when you discover that you
>> can do sexual things.

Well, you asked for opinions, so here's mine:

For what it's worth, I think a warning is advisable, since it isn't
immediately obvious that the game is going to have "adult" content.
I think it's important to remember that the player can stumble into
the rape scene without entering any ribald commands themselves, so
there is a genuine risk of less-aware youngsters encountering some
inappropriately adult concepts here.

It's also worth noting that I know some adults who would probably
have been embarrassed or offended by the rape scene (this does not
reflect in any way on the way it was written).

On the other hand, you don't want to make the warning too strident.
I wouldn't have played I-0 if I'd thought it was stuffed with
innuendo and/or graphic sex scenes, because I just don't like reading
that sort of thing. That would have been a shame, because I'd have
missed out on a great game and the sexual content is actually very
wittily and discreetly done.

I also agree that it's good to keep the more ribald aspects of the
game hidden at the start. I didn't realise they were there
until I read the note on the present at the end, and it was great
fun going back to discover the hidden responses.

With all this in mind, my preference would be for a bland general
warning along the lines of

Certain paths through I-0 have adult content and may not be
suitable for children.

I don't think this spoils any of the surprises -- I'd guess that most
people would come quite quickly on the hitchhiking scene and think
"Ah, so that's what he means". But I think it's an adequate warning.
If you felt the need to be more explicit you could add something like

If you would like to know more about this, type PARENTS
to see a longer explanation (which contains some spoilers).

...with the command PARENTS bringing up the full warning you
had before.

Er, this has turned out longer than I meant it to be, and reading over
it, it sounds a bit like I'm trying to tell you what to do. It's only
meant to be a suggestion, of course. I hope you find the comments helpful.

Richard

Admiral Jota

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Feb 16, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/16/97
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rg...@cam.ac.uk (Richard Stamp) writes:
>In article <330700...@acpub.duke.edu>,

[Adam Cadre asked if people thought I-0 should have a warning at the
start.]

>Well, you asked for opinions, so here's mine:

[Richard thinks there should be some warning, but notes that too specific
a warning course affect players' perceptions of the game, or could give
away spoilers.]

>With all this in mind, my preference would be for a bland general
>warning along the lines of

> Certain paths through I-0 have adult content and may not be
> suitable for children.

>I don't think this spoils any of the surprises -- I'd guess that most
>people would come quite quickly on the hitchhiking scene and think
>"Ah, so that's what he means". But I think it's an adequate warning.
>If you felt the need to be more explicit you could add something like

> If you would like to know more about this, type PARENTS
> to see a longer explanation (which contains some spoilers).

>...with the command PARENTS bringing up the full warning you
>had before.

I agree with what you're saying, but I think I'd make one small
modification to your warning:

Certain paths through I-0 have adult or violent content and may

not be suitable for children.

I tihnk that if the warning is phrased this way, it won't be quite so
obvious that the objectionable material is sexual, and so the player won't
be as likely to be spoiled about the 'fun' sexual content of the game.
Another useful aspect of this version of the disclaimer is that it's more
informative to a parent, because there are some parents who wouldn't mind
their kids playing LGoP on lewd mode, but wouldn't want their kids to play
through a rape scene.

--
/<-= Admiral Jota =->\
-< <-= jo...@tiac.net =-> >-
\<-=- -= -=- -= -=->/

Florian Beck

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Feb 17, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/17/97
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Adam Cadre <ad...@acpub.duke.edu> writes:

> I'm preparing the big final Release 3 of "I-0", and find myself in
> a double bind. After Release 1, I received the following message:
>
> > Perhaps you should put in a warning in the startup screen that the

> > game isn't suitable for children. There seem to be quite a few

You are really considering this, do you?

A warning presupposes danger.
This is art.
Ergo: Don't do it.

Come on, what's next? No more equations because non-mathematicians get
brain-damage?

--
Flo

Clyde Sloniker

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Feb 17, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/17/97
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Florian Beck wrote, regarging a warning of 'mature content' in "I-0"...

>You are really considering this, do you?
>
>A warning presupposes danger.
>This is art.
>Ergo: Don't do it.
>
>Come on, what's next? No more equations because non-mathematicians get
>brain-damage?

(I must not flame. Flame is the mind-killer. Flame is the little death
that brings total oblivion...)

He's not talking about taking out the sexual content. He's talking about
warning people who might be offended that the game contains material that
might be inappropriate for the closed-minded. I think this is a Good
Thing, but he is of course free to leave out that warning if he wants...
keeping in mind, though, that someone who could be offended by the
possible subject matter could well stumble across it without taking any
risque actions themselves, as he's stated. You may think that this is a
Good Thing. Apparently my high school film art teacher did, because he
promised me he'd warn me when the nude scene in "Slaughterhouse Five" came
up, then didn't, then fed me some line of BS about it being no big deal.
Which leaves me even today pissed at him for being a word-breaker and a
pervert...

[You are succumbing to the Dark Side. Your blood pressure has just gone
up.]

I think that a warning at the beginning of "I-0" would be appropriate.
I think the auther has the right not to use one if he doesn't want to.
I think a lot of other things, but I'm going to shut up now.

Drone

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Feb 17, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/17/97
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Clyde Sloniker wrote:
>
> risque actions themselves, as he's stated. You may think that this is a
> Good Thing. Apparently my high school film art teacher did, because he
> promised me he'd warn me when the nude scene in "Slaughterhouse Five" came
> up, then didn't, then fed me some line of BS about it being no big deal.
> Which leaves me even today pissed at him for being a word-breaker and a
> pervert...
>

Let me get this straight. Your high school film art teacher is a "pervert"
because he has a liberal view toward nudity in art films?

I see. <Nodding, glassy-eyed.>

Drone.
--
"Esse est percipi."
foxg...@globalserve.net

Clyde Sloniker

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Feb 17, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/17/97
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Drone <foxg...@globalserve.net> wrote:

>Let me get this straight. Your high school film art teacher is a "pervert"
>because he has a liberal view toward nudity in art films?
>
>I see. <Nodding, glassy-eyed.>

(closing eyes, imagining huge flame fest coming) I knew posting that was
a mistake. I knew posting that was a mistake. I knew posting that was a
mistake. I knew posting that was a mistake. I knew posting that...


Andrew Plotkin

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Feb 17, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/17/97
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Clyde Sloniker (pu...@u.washington.edu) wrote:

> (closing eyes, imagining huge flame fest coming) I knew posting that was
> a mistake. I knew posting that was a mistake. I knew posting that was a
> mistake. I knew posting that was a mistake. I knew posting that...

Yeah, I could have told you that. :-) You, too, Drone (whose quote I
deleted in the interest of delaying the flames.)

There *is* sort of a double standard here, which I regret. Novels and
short stories can have violent or sexual content (or vulgarity,
obscenity, blasphemy, etc, to refer back to an earlier thread.) Nobody
expects these things to be absent unless the book says "juvenile" on the
spine, or some equivalent mark.

Whereas with games, there's this feeling that the primary market is kids.
Which is not surprising -- for most kinds of games, the primary market
*is* kids. But this has not been true of IF in recent years. I mean, if
someone has gone through the larger TADS/Inform games, Jigsaw and Curses
and Legend and So Far and LNY and so on, they would not get the idea that
this is a "juvenile" readership that we're aiming at.

As my own little contribution towards a "mature-audience" assumption for
text IF, I do not put such warnings on my games. Of course I haven't
written a game with sex in it, yet.

(As my own little contribution towards peace, I don't try to argue other
people into removing such warnings. :-) It's up to you.)

Sometimes I really wish IF had book covers. All IF, I mean (nothing
against Neil dM's manual cover for LNY.) Cover art would make so much of
this information immediately obvious.

--Z


--

"And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these were the
borogoves..."

Admiral Jota

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Feb 18, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/18/97
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Drone <foxg...@globalserve.net> writes:
>Clyde Sloniker wrote:

>> Apparently my high school film art teacher did, because he promised me
>> he'd warn me when the nude scene in "Slaughterhouse Five" came up, then
>> didn't, then fed me some line of BS about it being no big deal. Which
>> leaves me even today pissed at him for being a word-breaker and a
>> pervert...

>Let me get this straight. Your high school film art teacher is a "pervert"

>because he has a liberal view toward nudity in art films?

>I see. <Nodding, glassy-eyed.>

Actually, it looked to me that the teacher was a pervert because he
intentionally tricked an underaged high school student into watching a
nude scene *he didn't want to see*.

You don't see anything wrong with that? Nowadays, he could be sued for
sexual harrassment. Really, though, it sounds like he was just a jerk, a
word-breaker, and a pervert.

Magnus Olsson

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Feb 18, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/18/97
to

In article <330700...@acpub.duke.edu>,

Adam Cadre <ad...@acpub.duke.edu> wrote:
>I'm preparing the big final Release 3 of "I-0", and find myself in
>a double bind. After Release 1, I received the following message:
>
>> Perhaps you should put in a warning in the startup screen that the
>> game isn't suitable for children. There seem to be quite a few
>> children playing text adventures, and you wouldn't want some angry
>> father calling you and complaining that his 10-year-old daughter's
>> been playing a game where she got raped, would you? :-)
>
>This seemed reasonable, and there was a precedent in LEATHER
>GODDESSES, so I went ahead and tacked the following to the beginning
>of Release 2:
>
>> Warning: this game may not be suitable for some children. Then again,
>> it may not be suitable for some adults either. The crucial test is
>> this: if you try to do something ribald, how would you like the game
>> to respond? If you said, "Why, it should act offended and refuse! How
>> dare the player attempt such improper input!", then this might not be
>> the game for you. Otherwise, feel free to continue... and have fun!
>
>This prompted the following response from someone else:
>
>> I don't like the warning at the beginning of version 2. I mean, I like
>> the warning just fine, but I don't like that there *is* a warning --
>> it simultaneously makes it too likely for a player to try doing sexual
>> things, and takes away from the excitement when you discover that you
>> can do sexual things.
>
>This also made a lot of sense. So now I'm of two minds about whether
>to leave the warning in for Release 3. What do you think?

Let me start by saying that it was I who wrote the first comment above
(urging Adam to add the warning).

Let me then hasten to add that I don't think that children need to be
"protected" from topics such as sex and violence in general. I do
think that there are works that aren't suitable for children, for
various reasons, either because the children don't have the frames of
reference needed to understand them, or because some things that seem
quite harmless to adults can be very scary indeed to children.

In the case of I-0, I don't think the sex in I-0 would be in any way
"dangerous" for children (in fact, I think children of certain age may
find it funny to let Tracy run around naked and do naughty things -
things they are certainly not allowed to do themselves. I suspect most
adults find that aspect of I-0 funny as well.).

On the other hand, I think the rape scene (and the need to resort to
graphic violence to avoid being raped) *might* be scary to a
child. This says something, I suppose, about my cultural bias (since
I'm from a country that censors violence but not sex in movies).

One observation I've made is that many parents consider text
adventures to be suitable for children. Historically, the sex and
violence that appears in IF has been very tame (usually on the level
of isolated rude words "animals getting hurt" (to quote the advisory
text on my "Infocom Masterpieces" box) and the player being killed of
in a painless and stylized way. In contrast, arcade games have a
tradition of bing extremely violent.) and I think many people still
assume this to be the case.

Anyway, IMHO a parent doesn't have to be particularly closed-minded to
react negatively when he or she finds out that his/her child has been
playing a game that was assumed to be totally "harmless" but turned
out to contain a violent rape scene.

And then there are, of course, the really closed-minded people, the
bigots who'll raise hell if they find even a hint of nudity in something
aimed at children.

To summarize, if you don't put a warning on a game, people will assume
it's aimed at children (games are for kids, right?) and there's a risk
that they'll be mightily pissed when they realize that it isn't. I
wouldn't take that risk if I were you.

As for the concern that the current warning hints at ribald content, and
that this spoils part of the fun, I see the point. But if the wording
of the warning is changed, for example to just "Some parts of this game
may not be suitable for children" you'll at least reduce that risk.

--
Magnus Olsson (m...@df.lth.se, zeb...@pobox.com)

Magnus Olsson

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Feb 18, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/18/97
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In article <m3pvy0m...@ue801di.lrz-muenchen.de>,
Florian Beck <floria...@lrz.uni-muenchen.de> wrote:

>Adam Cadre <ad...@acpub.duke.edu> writes:
>
>> I'm preparing the big final Release 3 of "I-0", and find myself in
>> a double bind. After Release 1, I received the following message:
>>
>> > Perhaps you should put in a warning in the startup screen that the
>> > game isn't suitable for children. There seem to be quite a few
>
>You are really considering this, do you?
>
>A warning presupposes danger.
>This is art.
>Ergo: Don't do it.

The problem here is that most people don't regard IF as art, but as games,
and a kind of game that is particularly suited for (older) children. These
people don't expect their children to be submitted to "virtual rape".

The danger exists: some irate parent may raise hell over the issue, maybe
call for censorship and whatnot.

Perhaps the warning text should be "Warning: this is a piece of art, not
a family game".

>Come on, what's next? No more equations because non-mathematicians get
>brain-damage?

The difference is that books containing equations are usually easily
recognizable as such. People don't buy a calculus textbook expecting
it to contain nursery rhymes.

mathew

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Feb 18, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/18/97
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In article <330700...@acpub.duke.edu>, ad...@acpub.duke.edu wrote:
> This also made a lot of sense. So now I'm of two minds about whether
> to leave the warning in for Release 3. What do you think?

How about:

NOTE: This game may display textual descriptions of violent or sexual acts.

I like it because
1. it's purely factual, with no value judgements,
2. it draws a clear distinction between sex and violence,
3. it gives minimal spoilers to the reader, and
4. it won't lead naïve parents to think that the game's suddenly going to
display images.


mathew
--
http://www.pobox.com/~meta/

Neil deMause

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Feb 18, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/18/97
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mathew (me...@pobox.com) wrote:

: How about:

: NOTE: This game may display textual descriptions of violent or sexual acts.

The thing that gets me about all this is that the "virtual rape" scene
in I-0 isn't graphic at all. (It all happens "off-screen", in fact.)

Given all the games in which you can die a horrible death by one means or
another, I think most authors would have to put in warning messages on
these grounds. Lost New York contains the potential for at least three
violent deaths, including a hanging, as well as several racial slurs --
should I have to put a warning on there, too? Or is there something special
about the word "rape" that makes it less suitable for children than other
forms of violence?

Neil

Matthew Amster-Burton

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Feb 18, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/18/97
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m...@bartlet.df.lth.se (Magnus Olsson) wrote:

>The danger exists: some irate parent may raise hell over the issue, maybe
>call for censorship and whatnot.

Frankly, I think I public call for censorship of IF would be pretty
damn exciting. It would certainly increase the size of our community,
just as Bill Bennett is selling Marilyn Manson's albums.

There is nothing in any piece of IF I've ever played that's any more
graphic than, say, a Christopher Pike novel. Better written, yes, but
not more graphic. A little nakedness here, a little violence there, a
few naughty words...big fuckin' deal. There are real problems in the
world, you know.

Hmm...must be the end of a three-day weekend or something.

Matthew


Matthew Amster-Burton

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Feb 18, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/18/97
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m...@bartlet.df.lth.se (Magnus Olsson) wrote:

>To summarize, if you don't put a warning on a game, people will assume
>it's aimed at children (games are for kids, right?) and there's a risk
>that they'll be mightily pissed when they realize that it isn't. I
>wouldn't take that risk if I were you.

Isn't "I-0" subtitled "The Jailbait on the Interstate Game" or
similar? Exactly who among the literate is going to mistake this for
a children's game?

Matthew

Matthew Amster-Burton

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Feb 18, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/18/97
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me...@pobox.com (mathew) wrote:

>How about:
>
>NOTE: This game may display textual descriptions of violent or sexual acts.

>I like it because


>1. it's purely factual, with no value judgements,

Not true. It professes the value that such a warning is necessary.
Should we put this on every game, or only those that actually *do*
display such descriptions?

>2. it draws a clear distinction between sex and violence,

No it doesn't: it equates them. We've had this discussion before, I
know, but I find it stupefying that films and games with graphic
violence are considered fun for kids, while sex is off-limits. Which
of these activities do we want our children to participate in, anyway?
Sometimes its a wonder our species continues to reproduce. (Sorry for
my very American perspective here.)

>3. it gives minimal spoilers to the reader, and

Again, only if it's on every game.

>4. it won't lead naïve parents to think that the game's suddenly going to
>display images.

Well, that's a good point.

Matthew

Magnus Olsson

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Feb 18, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/18/97
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In article <3309e26b...@news.u.washington.edu>,

People who don't read subtitles? :-)

Neil K.

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Feb 18, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/18/97
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In article <5eda18$k...@lyra.csx.cam.ac.uk>, rg...@cam.ac.uk (Richard Stamp)
wrote:

> I've never heard the expression "jailbait". This may be (a) because
> I'm British or (b) because I lead an extraordinarily sheltered life,
> but it's certainly not because I'm illiterate. :-)

I suspect a), as I think it's an American expression. (it's a nastily
predatory concept that refers to statutory rape for those interested)

- Neil K. Guy

--
t e l a computer consulting + design * Vancouver, BC, Canada
web: http://www.tela.bc.ca/tela/ * email: tela @ tela.bc.ca

Richard Stamp

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Feb 18, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/18/97
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In article <3309e26b...@news.u.washington.edu>,
Matthew Amster-Burton <mam...@u.washington.edu> wrote:
>
>Isn't "I-0" subtitled "The Jailbait on the Interstate Game" or
>similar? Exactly who among the literate is going to mistake this for
>a children's game?

I've never heard the expression "jailbait". This may be (a) because


I'm British or (b) because I lead an extraordinarily sheltered life,
but it's certainly not because I'm illiterate. :-)

(On the subject of being British, three cheers to Adam Cadre for
programming responses to "open bonnet" and the like. And an extra
cheer for making them funny.)

Scott Blomquist

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Feb 18, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/18/97
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I realize that this is a horrible way to go about this, but what is
I-0's author's email address?

Thanks.
Scott Blomquist <while donning asbestos underwear>
--
__
/ \ __ _ _|__|_ Scott Blomquist KC5WJN
`--./ / \ | | mailto:sblo...@umr.edu
\__/\__\_/ | | http://www.umr.edu/~sblomqui/

Neil K.

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Feb 18, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/18/97
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Of course, the extent of the warning question goes beyond the ol' sax and
violins question, I think. Dave Baggett's "Legend" contains the warning
"Recommended for mature readers only" at startup. I was never quite sure
why he put that in... was he trying to stress that it wasn't an easy game
playable by kids? Was it because of the Watchmaker and Timon Sketch's use
of the word "fuck"?

Like Magnus and Matthew, I'm rather concerned about the way warning
messages equate sex and violence as "bad" things. And I'd have to say I
think of language much the same way - particularly with regards to textual
fiction. Kids old enough to read IF and not find it incredibly boring (no
pictures!) are going to have heard a hell of a lot more naughty words in
the playground than on their computer screen.

My game in progress (here we go again) contains such language, because
that's how people speak in real life. It also contains references to
same-sex relationships, which is guaranteed to offend some people. However
it has no sexual content and relatively little violence.

I've considered the issue of whether I should include something by way of
a notice. I'm leaning towards putting nothing, since I take the view that
it should be viewed as a short story or novel or somesuch. And as far as
I'm concerned if someone is offended by the idea of a same-sex relationship
that's their damned problem, not mine. Putting in a label warning
essentially succumbs to the view that same-sex relationships are bad and
thus people should be warned about them.

- Neil K.

Laurel Halbany

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Feb 19, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/19/97
to

pu...@u.washington.edu (Clyde Sloniker) wrote:

>He's not talking about taking out the sexual content. He's talking about
>warning people who might be offended that the game contains material that
>might be inappropriate for the closed-minded.

Just about every I-F game has some of that, I think. What good would a
warning do? I mean, if the title "Jailbait on Interstate Zero" isn't a
clue-by-four, I don't know what is.

----------------------------------------------------------
Laurel Halbany
myt...@agora.rdrop.com
http://www.rdrop.com/users/mythago/

they got purple; purple's a fruit

unread,
Feb 19, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/19/97
to

And behold, Matthew Amster-Burton <mam...@u.washington.edu> did spake, speaking:

> m...@bartlet.df.lth.se (Magnus Olsson) wrote:
>
> >To summarize, if you don't put a warning on a game, people will assume
> >it's aimed at children (games are for kids, right?) and there's a risk
> >that they'll be mightily pissed when they realize that it isn't. I
> >wouldn't take that risk if I were you.
>
> Isn't "I-0" subtitled "The Jailbait on the Interstate Game" or
> similar? Exactly who among the literate is going to mistake this for
> a children's game?
>

The same type of people who rent "Porky's" for their kids and assume it to
be a cartoon. (I saw it happen.)

Oh, you said "literate" above there, I'm sorry, I take this back.

--
spa...@error.net, chief engineer (toot toot!) Spatula Labs, error.net/~spatula

"Pez is cheap; smiles are priceless." - C. L. McCoy
mstie#43790


Matthew Amster-Burton

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Feb 19, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/19/97
to

rg...@cam.ac.uk (Richard Stamp) wrote:

>I've never heard the expression "jailbait". This may be (a) because
>I'm British or (b) because I lead an extraordinarily sheltered life,
>but it's certainly not because I'm illiterate. :-)

Hmm...good point. Sorry for the implication. My ability to offend
the English seems to know no bounds.

It's not exactly a common term, I suppose. In fact, I wonder why I
know it....

Matthew

Mark J Musante

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Feb 19, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/19/97
to

Richard Stamp (rg...@cam.ac.uk) wrote:
> In article <3309e26b...@news.u.washington.edu>,
> Matthew Amster-Burton <mam...@u.washington.edu> wrote:
> >
> >Isn't "I-0" subtitled "The Jailbait on the Interstate Game" or
> >similar? Exactly who among the literate is going to mistake this for
> >a children's game?
>
> I've never heard the expression "jailbait". This may be (a) because
> I'm British or (b) because I lead an extraordinarily sheltered life,
> but it's certainly not because I'm illiterate. :-)

It's a term used to indicate a woman who is (a) attractive enough to have sex
with but (b) below the age of consent. Here in the U.S., each state sets that
age, so it varies. However, I believe that the highest age of consent is 18
(I don't have my almanac handy, but I'm pretty certain of that) so, depending
on what state I-0 takes place in, it may be a misnomer.

- Mark

Charles Gerlach

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Feb 19, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/19/97
to

they got purple; purple's a fruit wrote:
>
> And behold, Matthew Amster-Burton <mam...@u.washington.edu> did spake, speaking:
> > m...@bartlet.df.lth.se (Magnus Olsson) wrote:
> >
> > >To summarize, if you don't put a warning on a game, people will assume
> > >it's aimed at children (games are for kids, right?) and there's a risk
> > >that they'll be mightily pissed when they realize that it isn't. I
> > >wouldn't take that risk if I were you.
> >
> > Isn't "I-0" subtitled "The Jailbait on the Interstate Game" or
> > similar? Exactly who among the literate is going to mistake this for
> > a children's game?
> >
>
> The same type of people who rent "Porky's" for their kids and assume it to
> be a cartoon. (I saw it happen.)
>
> Oh, you said "literate" above there, I'm sorry, I take this back.
>

Also, there are the parents that don't seem to care. I was in a
bookstore shopping for X-mas presents when a guy brought a toddler
over to the aisle next to me and said "Ok, get the one you want."

The toddler picked up one of those books with electronic sound
effects. I was thinking: "Oh, how cute."

Then the child pressed one of the buttons, and was rewarded
with: "Huh-huh, huh-huh-huh. Shut up, ass-munch." Which the child
gleefully repeated in his little high-pitched, barely-literate
voice. The father(?) showed no recognition, concern, or even
surprise; he simply continued shopping.

So, what with all the stupid parents and apathetic parents, are there
actually any out there that would get offended at their child playing
a somewhat off-color text-adventure?

--
**********************************************************************
Charles Gerlach does not speak for Northwestern, and can be mailed at:
cagerlac a t merle d o t acns d o t nwu d o t edu
He hopes that placing his e-mail in this format did not seriously
inconvenience anyone attempting to contact him (except for spam-bots).

Adam J. Thornton

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Feb 19, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/19/97
to

Maybe I'm wrong. It'd be wonderful if I'm wrong.

But I suspect that many, if not most, of the people who are going to play
I-0 read this newsgroup.

If they can handle that discourse, they can handle I-0.

I hope someone can tell me I'm wrong and that simply *tons* of people who
aren't part of the raif readership have been downloading I-0.

Adam
--
"I'd buy me a used car lot, and | ad...@princeton.edu | As B/4 | Save the choad!
I'd never sell any of 'em, just | "Skippy, you little fool, you are off on an-
drive me a different car every day | other of your senseless and retrograde
depending on how I feel.":Tom Waits| little journeys.": Thomas Pynchon | 64,928

Deidre Ng

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Feb 19, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/19/97
to

It happens that the erotica writers list has just started a thread on the
subject of interactive sex stories. Are there any works of I-F that
actually revolve around sexual activity? As was pointed out on that list,
porn if often an early adopter of technology. Was that true of I-F as
well, or has the combination of sex and computers always been image
oriented? Perhaps the scripts of phone sex operators are examples of crude
interactive sex fiction.

Diedre Ng

Matthew Amster-Burton

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Feb 19, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/19/97
to

fake...@anti-spam.address (Neil K.) wrote:

>Like Magnus and Matthew, I'm rather concerned about the way warning
>messages equate sex and violence as "bad" things. And I'd have to say I
>think of language much the same way - particularly with regards to textual
>fiction. Kids old enough to read IF and not find it incredibly boring (no
>pictures!) are going to have heard a hell of a lot more naughty words in
>the playground than on their computer screen.

No shit! :) I certainly have a less dirty mouth now than I did in
second grade, and I think I was a pretty average second-grader. I
don't think I played any IF until fourth grade. Any kid who does know
all your basic four-letter words by then has led an extraordinarily
sheltered life.

But I don't think it's the kids we're talking about here. It's
paranoid parents who think their kids will be harmed by playing a game
with bad words or sex in it. Many of these same parents think there's
nothing of physically assaulting their children by spanking them or
worse (after all, the second leading cause of death among children is
being killed by their parent or guardian and 40 percent of parents
spank; the research on spanking could not possibly be clearer or more
complete). There's a real problem for you.

Beyond that, there is the issue of the disclaimer affecting my
enjoyment of the game. I want to be pleasantly or unpleasantly
surprised that there's sex or a gruesome murder or a character that
says "fuck" in the game. I wouldn't want to read a novel with the
disclaimer: "Warning: this novel may contain graphic language,
violence, nudity :), or sexual content." Almost every novel has at
least one of those everyday things and almost no one complains. While
I'm harping on parents, let me postulate that some of the same parents
who would be horrified that their child was playing "I-0" are probably
reading romance novels--turgid members, heaving bosoms, not to mention
plenty of "she says no but means yes" bullshit--while their kid is on
the computer.

Perhaps I'm going after a straw man here, but the fact is that there
are people who will go to great lengths to protect children from
things they don't need to be protected from while ignoring actual
dangers. Take Bill Bennett and Jack Kemp, who rail against smutty and
violent lyrics but never mention the sexual and physical violence
suffered by thousands of children in their own homes. Putting
warnings on games invites censorship, excuses parental negligence, and
detracts from my enjoyment of the game. Let's just don't, okay?

</tirade>

> I've considered the issue of whether I should include something by way of
>a notice. I'm leaning towards putting nothing, since I take the view that
>it should be viewed as a short story or novel or somesuch. And as far as
>I'm concerned if someone is offended by the idea of a same-sex relationship
>that's their damned problem, not mine. Putting in a label warning
>essentially succumbs to the view that same-sex relationships are bad and
>thus people should be warned about them.

I agree. I don't remember having played a text game with a gay
character, and it would be a welcome addition to the pantheon.

Matthew

Matthew Daly

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Feb 19, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/19/97
to

In article <330a4a55...@news.u.washington.edu> mam...@u.washington.edu (Matthew Amster-Burton) writes:

>rg...@cam.ac.uk (Richard Stamp) wrote:
>
>>I've never heard the expression "jailbait". This may be (a) because
>>I'm British or (b) because I lead an extraordinarily sheltered life,
>>but it's certainly not because I'm illiterate. :-)
>
>It's not exactly a common term, I suppose. In fact, I wonder why I
>know it....

I picked it up from having worked in college as a counselor for
pre-college students. There are specific times, and specific
students, for which the term is a very refreshing reminder of the
law. (Here, I'm using the term "refreshing" in the same sense as
a bucket of ice-cold water being dumped on your head.)

-Matthew
--
Matthew Daly I feel that if a person has problems communicating
mwd...@kodak.com the very least he can do is to shut up - Tom Lehrer

My opinions are not necessarily those of my employer, of course.

Kathleen Fischer

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Feb 19, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/19/97
to

Charles Gerlach wrote:
> So, what with all the stupid parents and apathetic parents, are there
> actually any out there that would get offended at their child playing
> a somewhat off-color text-adventure?

I would.

Kathleen

Obligatory rai-f reference:

Has the date for Competition 1997 been set? (I like the know the
deadlines I'm not going to make well in advance!)

--
*******************************************************************
* Kathleen M. Fischer
* kfis...@greenhouse.llnl.gov
** "Don't stop to stomp ants while the elephants are stampeding" **

Adam Cadre

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Feb 19, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/19/97
to

Mark J Musante wrote:
>
> Here in the U.S., each state sets that age, so it varies. However, I
> believe that the highest age of consent is 18 (I don't have my almanac
> handy, but I'm pretty certain of that) so, depending on what state I-0
> takes place in, it may be a misnomer.

I-0 takes place in Dorado, where the age of consent is 18. Not at all
coincidentally, the age of consent in California was still 18 the last
time I checked.

18 is in fact the maximum age of consent in the US. In North
Carolina, where I live now, it's 16, though that has nothing to do
with why I moved here. Most interesting age-of-consent law:
in Mississippi, it's 18 for virgins, 12 for non-virgins.

-----
Adam Cadre, Durham, NC
http://www.duke.edu/~adamc

Matthew Amster-Burton

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Feb 19, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/19/97
to

Adam Cadre <ad...@acpub.duke.edu> wrote:

>with why I moved here. Most interesting age-of-consent law:
>in Mississippi, it's 18 for virgins, 12 for non-virgins.

But then...oh, never mind.

Matthew

Matthew Amster-Burton

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Feb 19, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/19/97
to

deid...@aol.com (Deidre Ng) wrote:

That's interesting...I never thought of phone sex operators as having
scripts, but now that I think about it, it seems obvious.

There are no works of IF with an entirely sexual context that are
anything better than moronic, as far as I know. There was "Softporn
Adventure," which I've never played but from what I hear was less than
graphic. It begat the Leisure Suit Larry games, which are stupid and
not at all sexy.

I think the challenge of sexual IF would be making it seem like
something other than the player manipulating an object, albeit a
complex one. We have enough trouble making our NPCs *talk*.

Matthew

Matthew Daly

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Feb 19, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/19/97
to

In article <19970219153...@ladder01.news.aol.com> deid...@aol.com (Deidre Ng) writes:
>It happens that the erotica writers list has just started a thread on the
>subject of interactive sex stories. Are there any works of I-F that
>actually revolve around sexual activity? As was pointed out on that list,
>porn if often an early adopter of technology. Was that true of I-F as
>well, or has the combination of sex and computers always been image
>oriented? Perhaps the scripts of phone sex operators are examples of crude
>interactive sex fiction.

As a thread in one of these groups said a little while back, Softporn
Adventure was a fairly early game that involved getting the character
to lose his virginity. It was made into a graphic game that is better
known -- Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards.

That's the only early example I can think of in terms of sexual games.

Drone

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Feb 19, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/19/97
to

Admiral Jota wrote:
>
> Actually, it looked to me that the teacher was a pervert because he
> intentionally tricked an underaged high school student into watching a
> nude scene *he didn't want to see*.
>

Oh. I didn't get that it was intentional. Maybe I misread. If so, I
apologise for remarking on it.

Drone.
--
"Esse est percipi."
foxg...@globalserve.net

Deidre Ng

unread,
Feb 20, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/20/97
to

It happens that the erotica writers list has just started a thread on the
subject of interactive sex stories. Are there any works of I-F that
actually revolve around sexual activity? As was pointed out on that list,
porn if often an early adopter of technology. Was that true of I-F as
well, or has the combination of sex and computers always been image
oriented? Perhaps the scripts of phone sex operators are examples of crude
interactive sex fiction.

Diedre Ng

Clyde Sloniker

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Feb 20, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/20/97
to

Adam J. Thornton wrote, when Kathleen Kischer objected to letting her
children play "I-0":

>OK.
>
>Kathleen, you might want to keep your kids from playing _I-0_ until they're
>older.
>
>See? That was easy!

Search and replace:

"Parents, you might want to keep your kids from playing _I-0_ until
they're older."

I hereby nominate this as the warning message of choice. (:3

Adam J. Thornton

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Feb 20, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/20/97
to

In article <330B2C...@greenhouse.llnl.gov>,

Kathleen Fischer <kfis...@greenhouse.llnl.gov> wrote:
>Charles Gerlach wrote:
>> So, what with all the stupid parents and apathetic parents, are there
>> actually any out there that would get offended at their child playing
>> a somewhat off-color text-adventure?
>I would.
>Kathleen

OK.

Kathleen, you might want to keep your kids from playing _I-0_ until they're
older.

See? That was easy!

Adam

Magnus Olsson

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Feb 20, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/20/97
to

In article <330b2e9b...@news.u.washington.edu>,

Matthew Amster-Burton <mam...@u.washington.edu> wrote:
>But I don't think it's the kids we're talking about here. It's
>paranoid parents who think their kids will be harmed by playing a game
>with bad words or sex in it.

The paranoid parents are a potential problem as long as IF is viewed
(by the unenlightened masses :-) ) as aimed primarily at children or
young teenagers. You may feel that putting in a warning message to
appease them is demeaning to you as an artist, or that it would be
capitulating to the loud-mouthed right-wing "moralists". You may feel
that it's the parents' responsibility and not yours to check what
their children are doing.

But I think the *real* problem is to get rid of the notion that all IF
is harmless stuff, suitable for children. If indeed there is such a
notion; I may be exaggerating the problem.

Adam J. Thornton

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Feb 20, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/20/97
to

In article <E5usF...@world.std.com>,

Mark J Musante <olo...@world.std.com> wrote:
>It's a term used to indicate a woman who is (a) attractive enough to have sex
>with but (b) below the age of consent. Here in the U.S., each state sets that

>age, so it varies. However, I believe that the highest age of consent is 18
>(I don't have my almanac handy, but I'm pretty certain of that) so, depending
>on what state I-0 takes place in, it may be a misnomer.

I-0 takes place in Dorado.

Where the age of consent, apparently, is 18.

In most of the other fifty states it's actually lower. Don't ask me how or
why I know this.

Adam J. Thornton

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Feb 20, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/20/97
to

In article <5eggf6$2...@nntp5.u.washington.edu>,

Clyde Sloniker <pu...@u.washington.edu> wrote:
>Adam J. Thornton wrote, when Kathleen Kischer objected to letting her
>children play "I-0":
>>Kathleen, you might want to keep your kids from playing _I-0_ until they're
>>older.
>Search and replace:
>"Parents, you might want to keep your kids from playing _I-0_ until
>they're older."

Nope, because there are some parents out there, maybe, who don't care what
their kids read or play but *will* be offended by a random stranger
suggesting what they do in the banner of a piece of IF. Case-by-case
warnings, I say.

Matthew Amster-Burton

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Feb 20, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/20/97
to

m...@bartlet.df.lth.se (Magnus Olsson) wrote:

>But I think the *real* problem is to get rid of the notion that all IF
>is harmless stuff, suitable for children. If indeed there is such a
>notion; I may be exaggerating the problem.

I agree. We may be well ahead of ourselves here. I don't know if the
average parent knows the first thing about IF; he and his kid
probably both assume that all games are graphical. I was speaking
more generally (perhaps inappropriately for this group). As I see it,
we are not yet at the point where we even need to discuss warning
messages for text games (not that this stopped me). No one has
complained yet, as far as I know.

Matthew

James Cole

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Feb 20, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/20/97
to

rg...@cam.ac.uk (Richard Stamp) wrote:

>In article <3309e26b...@news.u.washington.edu>,


>Matthew Amster-Burton <mam...@u.washington.edu> wrote:
>>
>>Isn't "I-0" subtitled "The Jailbait on the Interstate Game" or
>>similar? Exactly who among the literate is going to mistake this for
>>a children's game?
>

>I've never heard the expression "jailbait". This may be (a) because
>I'm British or (b) because I lead an extraordinarily sheltered life,
>but it's certainly not because I'm illiterate. :-)

I've never heard the expression either (I'm from Australia). I guess this is
one of those things that occur because people on the net are from such a wide
reaching span of cultures/places, even though we sometimes don't think of it
that way.

>[...]

---------------
James Cole
jrc...@ozemail.com.au

Branko Collin

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Feb 20, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/20/97
to

Deidre Ng (deid...@aol.com) wrote:
: It happens that the erotica writers list has just started a thread on the

I hope I will not get sued for copying a copyrighted text, or for posting
something with a commercial content. The following was an advert in Your
64, April 1985.

-------BEGIN----------
Commodore Users

Join Albert Battersby in his sexual fantasies and adventures in his desire
to achieve the ultimate sensations

"Soho Sex Quest"
Albert is a 27 year old sewing machine attendant from North Yorkshire. He
wins a national contest. The prize "A Night with Zelda the First Lady of
Soho". What a way to go, but before you get to Zelda's bedroom, you must
first encounter the dark and luring parts of Soho. If you go wrong, the
pimps, perverts and police will get you. Good luck Albert ... you'll need
it.
Tape 5.25 UKP8
Disk UKP 12.95

[snipped the "Herpes or Bust" bit, as I am typing this on-line]

Cheques/P.O. made payable to:
Maian
P.O. Box 390
Purleigh,
Essex

X-rated, sold only to people over 18 years old
------END-------------

I have no idea if this game actually is worth playing, or whether it is
still available.

-----
Branko Collin http://www.xs4all.nl/~collin
col...@xs4all.nl http://www.kun.nl/undans/members/branko.htm
"Erm... Erm... should I say something interesting now?"
- Branko Collin -

Drone

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Feb 21, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/21/97
to

Mark J Musante wrote:
>
> > I've never heard the expression "jailbait". This may be (a) because
> > I'm British or (b) because I lead an extraordinarily sheltered life,
> > but it's certainly not because I'm illiterate. :-)
>
> It's a term used to indicate a woman who is (a) attractive enough to have sex
> with but (b) below the age of consent.

In my experience with the term it has been gender-neutral.

Mark J Musante

unread,
Feb 21, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/21/97
to

Drone (foxg...@globalserve.net) wrote:
> Mark J Musante wrote:
> >
> > > I've never heard the expression "jailbait". This may be (a) because
> > > I'm British or (b) because I lead an extraordinarily sheltered life,
> > > but it's certainly not because I'm illiterate. :-)
> >
> > It's a term used to indicate a woman who is (a) attractive enough to have sex
> > with but (b) below the age of consent.
>
> In my experience with the term it has been gender-neutral.

I've only ever heard it applied to women, but it certainly can work for both
genders.

- Mark

Andrew Clover

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Feb 21, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/21/97
to

Branko Collin (col...@xs2.xs4all.nl) wrote:

> I hope I will not get sued for copying a copyrighted text, or for posting
> something with a commercial content. The following was an advert in Your
> 64, April 1985.

>> Join Albert Battersby in his sexual fantasies and adventures in his desire


>> to achieve the ultimate sensations

>> "Soho Sex Quest"

Coo! I've got a snapshot of this for the Spectrum; I kept it because it's so
hilariously awful. Even for a 8-bit adventure, the parser, grammar and
vocabulary - not to mention the the prose and design - are terrible.

If anyone's looking for an third adventure to MiST, this is the one.

>> X-rated, sold only to people over 18 years old

That's a laugh: I very much doubt the author had left school. Yes, it's
another supposedly funny but actually piss-poor sex adventure you might expect
to see written in AGT.

Erotica? It's not even close. It's as erotic as translating the entire Inform
Designers' Manual to HTML. Using vi.

To summarise: I didn't like it. :-)

BCNU, AjC

Graham Nelson

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Feb 21, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/21/97
to

In article <19970219153...@ladder01.news.aol.com>, Deidre Ng

<URL:mailto:deid...@aol.com> wrote:
>
> It happens that the erotica writers list has just started a thread on the
> subject of interactive sex stories. Are there any works of I-F that
> actually revolve around sexual activity? As was pointed out on that list,
> porn if often an early adopter of technology. Was that true of I-F as
> well, or has the combination of sex and computers always been image
> oriented? Perhaps the scripts of phone sex operators are examples of crude
> interactive sex fiction.

A salutary tale, if possibly one that I'm mis-remembering: I read
a piece in a computer magazine once, interviewing a programmer
who'd worked on one of the early PC pretend-you're-having-sex games.
(Hats off to any players of such -- suspension of disbelief
doesn't get any more heroic than this.) Anyway, the programmer
said that the team had spent about 75% of their time perfecting the
scene in which Ms X takes off her blouse. They became fascinated
with the folds of the fabric, the way it ought to catch the virtual
light, the cantilevering of the elbows, and so on. By the time
any horizontal jogging was called for, the programmers were
already out of time and resources.

To give a serious answer. I see no reason why there couldn't be
an erotic IF game (except perhaps good taste). One obstacle is
that the interface would need thought. What combination of
verb and noun would we like the player to type in, as simulated
passion grows? I don't really think most naturally of these
kind of actions in verbal terms, only in terms of a sort of
understood semaphore with one's partner.

But it's not purely a matter of niceties or the rudeness of
"rude words". Most commands in adventure games refer to completed
actions: FILL BASKET, TAKE INGOT, etc., or to actions which could
be continued but which are understood to be interrupted: GO SOUTH.
I don't think a parser interface for intercourse could deal only
in such actions. Wouldn't it have to keep saying something like
"(taking your hand off ****** first)", and having to assume that
all activities are continuing unless explicitly stopped?

Besides this, sex is certainly about communication, but not much
of it's about decision processes, and a lot of the negotiation
that takes place is tactile. In an IF game, the player would be
spending all of the time pondering what to ask to do next, or
tapping it out (a lengthy process left-handed), with only brief
intermissions to watch text rush by describing the allegedly
ecstatic result.

As a final negative point, IF is partly about puzzles. Admittedly,
in a few games, at least some of the puzzles are about discerning
the characters of other people. Nevertheless the majority are
brain-teasers of one kind or another. Are we to postulate a
coy mistress who behaves in matters of the bedroom rather as
the lady shopkeeper does in "The Magic Toyshop", insisting that
we win games of noughts-and-crosses and so on?

Thus, I reckon simulated IF sex is infeasible. What _might_ be
feasible? I could imagine a detective thriller in which some
erotic milieu would be explored -- hero as voyeur, I suppose,
mirroring the player. And/or I could imagine a game in which
a couple, no more, of sparely interactive sex scenes lead to
important discoveries (Great Scott! Lola has a Chinese tong
marking tattooed on her inner thigh! So Mr Li was working for
El Gangstero after all!).

I can't help wondering what phone sex scripts read like...
"51. Briefly impersonate Shirley Temple. Press the button marked
"bedsprings noise". Go back to line 40."

(Don't you love these inappropriate couplings of words? "Phone
sex", hmm. I saw a reference today to a saint having been
"brutally dismembered" in AD 650. As opposed to "humanely",
no doubt.)

Enough rambling. What I'd prefer would be a good, honest,
strike at romantic IF, not as a piece of kitsch genre fiction
but as a gutsy work in its own right. Any volunteers?

--
Graham Nelson | gra...@gnelson.demon.co.uk | Oxford, United Kingdom


Patrick Kellum

unread,
Feb 21, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/21/97
to

For some reason, Adam Cadre was chatting and out came these words of greatness:

>18 is in fact the maximum age of consent in the US. In North
>Carolina, where I live now, it's 16, though that has nothing to do

>with why I moved here. Most interesting age-of-consent law:
>in Mississippi, it's 18 for virgins, 12 for non-virgins.

I never could figure out how this could be inforced, manadatory medical
checks every day or something? O-well, AOC laws, and all age based laws,
are a form of descrimination anyway IMNSHO.

And to keep this message slightly on topic with raif, I-0 R3 looks to be
nearly bug free, except for the one I emailed you about that I doubt
anyone else would find anyway.

Patrick
---

"Every weekday morning the school bell cast its glamour over the
surounding hills, calling the young to classes. They came running
down the slopes and leaping over the streams, out from caves and the
hollows of trees and suburban tract homes, impelled by powers greater
then their own to gain an education."
"The Iron Dragon's Daughter" by Michael Swanwick

Adam Cadre

unread,
Feb 21, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/21/97
to

Patrick Kellum wrote:
>
> >in Mississippi, it's 18 for virgins, 12 for non-virgins.
>
> I never could figure out how this could be enforced, manadatory

> medical checks every day or something?

Rarely are statutory rape cases a matter of the state stepping in, as
far as I know; generally the minor (or her (rarely his) parents) sue
the perpetrator, much as one would sue someone for sexual harassment.
What makes the Mississippi law exceptional is that it establishes a
six-year window where you can only sue for being =deflowered=; after
that, the state figures that you know what you're getting into (or
-- bad taste alert -- what's getting into you) and can render consent.
Or, for those with a more suspicious eye toward the motivations of
Mississippi lawmakers, they figure that if you're between 12 and 18
and not a virgin, then you're a slut and don't deserve state
protection.

On the other hand, if you mean "enforcement" in the sense of
enforcing the added virginity provision -- proving someone to have
been a virgin when she (rarely he) is now certainly not -- it's the
same kind of difficulty encountered in the majority of rape cases.
Just as the court has to judge the likelihood of consent having been
rendered in a conventional case, it has to judge the likelihood of
the ostensible victim's virginity in a statutory rape case in
Mississippi.

To keep this barely on topic, one of the decisions I had to make in
I-0 was how to deal with Tracy's characterization vis-a-vis any sexual
activity the player might ask of her. My eventual decision was a sort
of retroactive continuity: to the best of my ability, I tried to give
the impression that the way the player has Tracy act is the way she's
always acted. That is, if she runs around naked and tries to get it
on with everything that moves, then it is implied that she has a long
history of such; if she doesn't, then she has no such history. There's
no provision for the events of I-0 being Tracy's "sexual awakening,"
so to speak. If Dorado's law is like Mississippi's, therefore, the
virginity provision becomes irrelevant.

Graham Nelson

unread,
Feb 21, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/21/97
to

In article <5ekl4c$6...@finnan.csv.warwick.ac.uk>, Andrew Clover

<URL:mailto:es...@csv.warwick.ac.uk> wrote:
>
> Erotica? It's not even close. It's as erotic as translating the entire Inform
> Designers' Manual to HTML. Using vi.

Mmm... say that again, Andrew... ooh, yes... don't forget <gasp!>
the table of operators...

Drone

unread,
Feb 22, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/22/97
to

Adam J. Thornton wrote:
>
> Nope, because there are some parents out there, maybe, who don't care what
> their kids read or play but *will* be offended by a random stranger
> suggesting what they do in the banner of a piece of IF. Case-by-case
> warnings, I say.
>

There's an inherent paradox in some of these arguments (not above though, I just
missed the proper message to reply to). The problem seems to be the idea that
parents would not expect off-colour stuff from a "game." But why would they execute
the game file to check it out in advance of making it available to their children,
if they weren't expecting anything? Since today's IF has no physical packaging, the
parents who would be shocked to discover adult material in a game would never end
up reading the warning. Same goes for included text files, and other net.available
warnings "spots".

Unless they want to play the game themselves, in which case the warning is
redundant.

But on another note: if you don't like the idea of "branding" your writing (and I
don't), and you want to incorporate adult material, you can "signal" it in the
opening scene by providing at least a taste of it. A single violent image, or a
sexual reference, or a curse word (whichever is appropriate to the game's content)
will let everybody know what they're getting instantly.

Julian Arnold

unread,
Feb 22, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/22/97
to

In article <330E8B...@globalserve.net>, Drone

<URL:mailto:foxg...@globalserve.net> wrote:
>
> Adam J. Thornton wrote:
> >
> > Nope, because there are some parents out there, maybe, who don't care what
> > their kids read or play but *will* be offended by a random stranger
> > suggesting what they do in the banner of a piece of IF. Case-by-case
> > warnings, I say.
>
> There's an inherent paradox in some of these arguments (not above though, I just
> missed the proper message to reply to). The problem seems to be the idea that
> parents would not expect off-colour stuff from a "game." But why would they execute
> the game file to check it out in advance of making it available to their children,
> if they weren't expecting anything? Since today's IF has no physical packaging, the
> parents who would be shocked to discover adult material in a game would never end
> up reading the warning. Same goes for included text files, and other net.available
> warnings "spots".

This occurred to me after I posted suggesting a separate list of
warnings/ratings. It'd be bloody useless, really. I guess Adam's post
has been about the most sensible in this thread. The comparison with
books is all very well (it's a hypocrisy that no warning are required of
static books, but warnings are being considered for IF), but OTOH books
are (most often) bought from a bookshop-- bookshops categorize their
books (adult, horror/dark fantasy, childrens', etc.)-- there is an
implicit warning or rating system. In the end though, books have no
warnings (well, some do, but certainly not to restrict their readership
:). That's their good fortune, but, no matter how much we might wish it
to be otherwise, to an outsider, IF ain't books.

> Unless they want to play the game themselves, in which case the warning is
> redundant.
>
> But on another note: if you don't like the idea of "branding" your writing (and I
> don't), and you want to incorporate adult material, you can "signal" it in the
> opening scene by providing at least a taste of it. A single violent image, or a
> sexual reference, or a curse word (whichever is appropriate to the game's content)
> will let everybody know what they're getting instantly.

I fully understand, and partly agree with, this aversion to "branding"
your work. It seems to me that signalling as you describe is still
branding. It's including something in your work for the benefit of
people other than your intended audience. Just a more subtle version of
a warning. Art is being dictated by prejudice. And besides, what about
works which deal with "adult" themes, without being explicitly
violent/sexy/rude/unsociable?

> Drone.

And leave my .sig alone, Drone. :)

Jools
--
"For small erections may be finished by their first architects; grand
ones, true ones, ever leave the copestone to posterity. God keep me
from ever completing anything." -- Herman Melville, "Moby Dick"


Cyber-Babushka

unread,
Feb 22, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/22/97
to Andrew Clover

On 21 Feb 1997, Andrew Clover wrote:

> Erotica? It's not even close. It's as erotic as translating the entire Inform
>Designers' Manual to HTML. Using vi.

^^^^^^^^
<onetrueeditor>
Ah! You throw down the gauntlet! I cannot let this pass unchallenged!
So, Andrew, are you one of those apostate Escape-Meta-Control-Alt-Shift
lovers? Repent of your evil ways! Come back from the dark side, come
back to the loving arms of vi, and I assure you, all will be forgiven! vi
is the One True Editor! EMACS is the anti-Christ! Repent! Repent!!!!
Repent before it's too late!!!!
</onetrueeditor>

O:)
bonni
http://wvnvm.wvnet.edu/~u6ed4/bonni.html
C++ Turbo Vision archive: http://brooks.wvn.wvnet.edu/tvhome
__ __
IC | XC | bonni mierzejewska "The Lone Quilter"
---+--- | u6...@wvnvm.wvnet.edu
NI | KA | Kelly's Creek Homestead, Maidsville, WV

Adam J. Thornton

unread,
Feb 23, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/23/97
to

In article <ant2100261cbM+4%@gnelson.demon.co.uk>,

Graham Nelson <gra...@gnelson.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>Enough rambling. What I'd prefer would be a good, honest,
>strike at romantic IF, not as a piece of kitsch genre fiction
>but as a gutsy work in its own right. Any volunteers?

Why don't you call Angela M. Horns? I hear she's good at it.

Patrick Kellum

unread,
Feb 23, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/23/97
to

uke.edu>
Organization: Pup-Tek Software International
Distribution:

For some reason, Adam Cadre was chatting and out came these words of
greatness:

>To keep this barely on topic, one of the decisions I had to make in


>I-0 was how to deal with Tracy's characterization vis-a-vis any sexual
>activity the player might ask of her. My eventual decision was a sort
>of retroactive continuity: to the best of my ability, I tried to give
>the impression that the way the player has Tracy act is the way she's
>always acted. That is, if she runs around naked and tries to get it
>on with everything that moves, then it is implied that she has a long
>history of such; if she doesn't, then she has no such history. There's

I noticed this while trying to find different endings, the character of
Tracy seems to perfectly follow the players commands. You did a rather
good job at creating that character, better then Infocom ever did IMO.

Patrick Kellum

unread,
Feb 23, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/23/97
to

For some reason, Graham Nelson was chatting and out came these words of
greatness:

>Enough rambling. What I'd prefer would be a good, honest,


>strike at romantic IF, not as a piece of kitsch genre fiction
>but as a gutsy work in its own right. Any volunteers?

Well, I started on one a while back, but after a nasty breakup with my SO,
I put it aside. It is of my opinion that to write a good romantic story,
the author must be experancing those feelings at the time. And putting
concepts such as love into a piece of int-fiction is rather dificult. I
would love to see some form of romantic int-fiction appear, it's the only
subject that hasn't been overdone yet.

William Bryant

unread,
Feb 23, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/23/97
to

Lets not forget the 'sex' and satire of Leather Goddesses of Phobos

William Bryant
wbr...@ix.netcom.com

S Barlow

unread,
Feb 24, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/24/97
to

What about the (funny) escapades of Lesuire Suit Larry?
I can think of some games that have featured sex; Plundered
Hearts had rape and romance in it - although the actual act was left to
the player's imagination and featured some very "Romantic" sea-imagery.
I can remember playing some home-grown "pulling" adventures on my
Amstrad CPC where the player ran around strip-clubs and student houses
trying to get as much sex as possible. The jokes were awful and I
remember at the time people thought they were quite good. I think they
were written by Simon Avery (though I doubt my memory serves
me correctly). At the time I was amazed when ">kiss barmaid" produced a
more constructive response than "This game isn't R-Rated!" "She looks
embarassed" "Not in this game!" "Take a cold shower!"

I don't think IF simulation of the sex-act would be that hard - think of
how the complexities of conversation can be dealt with - long
description of the conversation then the player is prompted to "ask ..."
at which point the conversation continues. We could have a paragraph of
pink-prose which ends with the player's partner moans "Oooh, you are so
good. My nipples are feeling lonely" at which point the player types
">tweak nipples"...maybe not such a good idea after all. Perhaps with
Leisure Suit Larry we have seen the pinacle of this genre - afterall any
description of something as personal and private as sex has to try very
hard not to be funny.

**********-Samuel Barlow-***********
* *
* sb6...@bris.ac.uk *
* http://irix.bris.ac.uk/~sb6729 *
* *
************************************


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