Rocco Balsamo

@theroccob

To Censor or not to Censor

Recently, a piece of NSFW (or semi-safe-for-work) content was added to my site, and it got me thinking.

The content itself is quite cute and inventive. It was a small platform game called “Free the Nipple”, and the opening sequence is absolutely hilarious:

But should I allow content like this (or much much more blatant) to be included on the website?

The backstory

I run a site for sharing games in WebGL format and I’m trying to figure out whether I should or should not censor games on the site. Now this particular game is a piece of art in my opinion, and not pornography. Essentially the person who wrote this game is actually begging me to figure out, do I censor games on the site?

BTW, if you’re on a desktop you can play the game right here on Medium:

(this doesn’t work on mobile yet, sorry)

My values

Violence is commonplace in video games, and there are a certain subset of games that have nudity and sexual content. Generally (in USA anyway), violence is completely accepted but if there’s a female nipple in a movie, for instance, that’s an immediate “R” rating.

this is apparently OK in a PG13 movie

To me, this is obviously pretty silly, but what about to my audience?

Does having games with nudity and / or sexual behavior on my site tarnish the reputation of it?

Itch

A competing site for the indy games, Itch does allow some questionable content (I searched for “porn” and “xxx” on their site):

But last year I went to a conference pitching SIMMER, and one high school instructor who teaches game development said that he wouldn’t send his kids to share their games on the Itch site because they allowed so much sexual content.

Traffic

Another borderline game I have on my site involves feeding a fat furry-style creature donuts:

https://simmer.io/@FluffRat/~872b42c1-3187-3c89-688b-fc1f3631b657

Again, this content is well made and not directly pornographic. And it sends A LOT of traffic to the site. If a type of content sends a lot of new users to my site, I feel like I should not ignore it. Should I add a “feed the fat furry a donut” category to the site? Or should I censor all fat-furry-donut-feeding content?

What would you do?

For me, I’m totally on the fence. If I allow full-on porn games, does that mean that parents won’t send their kids to the site to share their creations? Does that make me a hypocrite for allowing bloody violent games, even though I think they’re way more damaging than showing a nipple or two?

Maybe I should start an adults only section? (Kids will ALWAYS pay attention to the warning dialogs for adult content! </sarcasm>).

I honestly don’t know where to go next, will you let me know your thoughts?

Please give this article a clap or two or follow SIMMER on twitter if you enjoyed my writing :-).

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